News & Insights

How the Big Game plays out on Spotify

Don’t have months (and millions) to create a Big Game advertising campaign? No problem. Set up a campaign with our self-serve ads manager, to connect with fans of American football in your area and reach your goals with a team of free creative tools and services.

How self-serve advertisers and local businesses can get in the game

Sports and digital audio go together like Sunday football and hot wings. After all, what’s the Big Game without a pre-party playlist or your favorite sports podcast’s post-game recap? On Spotify, we understand all the ways sports fans come together to soundtrack the moment—from kick-off to the final touchdown and beyond.

Here’s what advertisers need to know about how sports fans are streaming on Spotify.

The soundtrack to the season

Spotify Free users streams of sports-related playlists increased 26% YoY.1

Sports fans = Spotify fans

More than 2 in 3 (71%) Spotify listeners are extremely, very or quite interested in sports.2

Fans stream as a team

US Football Fans on Spotify are 13% more likely to stream Spotify via connected speakers, which represents 72% of their streams.3

Spotify Free users are 37% more likely to watch sports games and sports coverage with their siblings, and 25% more likely to with their parents.4

[Video] Game on

Football fans are 18% more likely to stream the gaming moment.5

Among Spotify listeners, there is a 71% overlap between gamers and sports fanatics. This gamer/sports fan group skews male (62%) and A25-34.6

The long weekend

Pre-game

During the 2023 American football season, Friday and Saturday were the peak days for streaming football-related playlists as fans got fired up for weekend watching.7

Game day

Listeners soundtrack game-day rituals like cooking and getting together with friends. The “cooking” and “party” moments peak in the afternoon (12pm-3pm) on Sundays.8

Post-game

Fans relive the weekend with recaps on top sports podcasts. Last year streams for The Ringer NFL Show & The Ringer Fantasy Football Show spiked on Tuesday (20% each).9

Big Game inspiration for self-serve advertisers

1. Dial up the pre-game hype with podcast ads

Connect with football fans as they huddle up with their favorite podcasts. The Spotify Audience Network allows advertisers to reach podcast listeners based on their demographics, behaviors, and real-time contexts—both on and off Spotify. Learn how moving company Two Men and a Truck drove awareness among local listeners with an audience-based podcast ad campaign built with Spotify's ads manager.

2. Serve up game-day essentials with audio

For QSR and CPG snack brands, the Big Game is the most wonderful time of the year to reach hungry fans. Rise above the noise with audio ads that hook listeners’ attention as they gear up for game day. Need some inspo? Check out how Pizza Hut used immersive audio ads that replicated the roar of a game-day football crowd and delivered the messaging—focused on value and delivery options—via voiceover in the style of a pro sportscaster.

🎧 Grab headphones for the full effect.

00:00 / 00:00

3. Embrace nostalgic sounds

Football fans on Spotify are more likely to listen to Throwbacks compared to the average Spotify listener—specifically +78% more likely to stream '90s, 42% more likely to stream ‘80s, and 19% more likely to stream 2000s.10 Flex your creative muscles (and maybe bust out the synths) to incorporate throwback sounds into your audio campaign. Read our quick-start guide to creating digital audio ads to help you get started.

4. Score stronger results with multiple formats

Consider putting two star players in your next Spotify campaign: audio and video ads. Where audio ads can reach listeners in screenless moments (like while they’re working out, cooking dinner, or driving), video ads are served when the Spotify app is in focus. Together, they can extend the impact of your ads and reach listeners in the right moments. Learn more about how to pick the right ad format based on your campaign goals and creative capabilities.

5. Make contextual targeting part of the game plan

A disruptive ad is the ultimate party foul. Spotify uses contextual audience targeting to pick up on listeners’ real-time context, ensuring the right ad appears at the right moment. Context can supercharge those strategies by informing your ad creative — so you can create more tailored messages that are relevant to the individual.

Ready to kick off your Big Game ad campaign on Spotify?

Sign into Spotify's ads manager and get started today, or reach out to talk about a custom campaign.
  1. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Free Users, Q4 ‘22 vs Q4 ‘23, Playlist keywords include any 'sports', and sports types: ‘basketball’, ‘baseball’, ‘football’, 'racing', 'volleyball', 'rugby', 'soccer', 'tennis', ‘hockey’.
  2. Source: GWI Sports, Spotify Free Users, Q2 2023, USA
  3. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Spotify Free Users, US, September 2023, 1P_Podcast_Listeners_Category_Sports
  4. Source: GWI Sports, Spotify Free Users, Q2 2023, USA
  5. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Spotify Free Users, US, September 2023, 1P_Podcast_Listeners_Category_American_Football
  6. Source: GWI Sports, Spotify Free Users, Q2 2023, USA. Gamers=those who game on any device. Sports Fanatics=interests in watching or playing sports or in adventure/extreme sports. 2Q19-1Q20. Global.
  7. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Spotify Free Users, September 1, 2023 to December 18, 2023, USA
  8. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Spotify Free Users, 9/1/2023 - 12/1/2023, USA
  9. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Data as of 1/24/2024
  10. Source: Spotify First-Party Data, Spotify Free Users, US, September 2023, 1P_Podcast_Listeners_Category_American_Football

This is an updated version of a story that was originally published in February 2022—we aim to keep our content as fresh as possible, to help advertisers make the most informed decisions about how they spend their ad budget.

Looking for something a little more custom? Let's talk.