dmexco Q&A: Marco Bertozzi on Spotify’s video evolution

The thrill of a live performance. The art of a music video. The behind-the-scenes insight of an artist interview. Music has never been just about listening—it’s about hearing, watching, feeling, exploring. As Spotify’s audience has grown to 140 million global users, our product has evolved to become a truly multi-sensory experience, with the video content music fans love. This week at Germany’s dmexco conference, Marco Bertozzi, Spotify’s VP of Sales in Europe, will take the stage to share what Spotify’s video mission looks like today, and the opportunities Spotify has created for brands and marketers to reach their audience with personal, relevant video ads.

We asked Marco a few questions to get a quick glimpse at his talk, which will take place on Thursday, September 14 at 12:00PM GMT. Find more details about dmexco here.

Spotify is bringing more and more original video content to the platform, from the new look of Rap Caviar to Sam Smith’s vertical music video premiering on New Music Friday. Can you trace Spotify’s evolution from a music library to a multimedia showcase?

The growth of streaming is driven by user behavior. Between the success of Spotify, Netflix, Hulu and others, the clear trend has been that consumers want to access whatever they want, at any moment. They don’t care so much about physically owning content; they just care about accessing it, on-demand. For us, it’s only logical to keep giving people access to what they want—and that’s definitely high-quality, original video content.

Moving to video has been a natural evolution for us. Music has always been a visual medium throughout history, from live performances to album art to music videos. With our platform’s technology, we’re able to give people that complete access point. It’s not just streaming audio, but the complete multi-sensory experience they’re looking for.

What does this all mean for brands and marketers?
What advertisers really want to do is be where their audience is. Right now, that audience is on Spotify. Our audience is over 140M global users and still growing. So we know that people are coming to Spotify to engage with content.

But what’s even better is that people are listening, watching and engaging on Spotify all day long, since people use music to soundtrack personal moments—from the shower, to the commute, to the workday, to bedtime. Meaning we know when our listeners are looking at their phone. That’s why video works so well on Spotify. It’s viewable and audible, and a real, logged-in person is looking at it. And thanks to streaming intelligence and our playlist listening data, we even know the mood they’re in. We want to give advertisers the chance to bring their brand into that personal environment in a relevant way.

So what is that chance? How can marketers be in those moments?
One of the best gateways is our Branded Moments solution. It’s a video ad experience that lets brands connect with their target audience in real-time moments, whether they’re working out, partying, or having dinner.

This lets brands truly own a moment in time—exactly 30 minutes, that is. For example, Gatorade used Branded Moments to own the workout moment. A lot of people just talk about context, but this is truly giving a listener an ad in real-time context based on our insights. Being present for a 30-minute listening session also gives brands the chance to tell their story sequentially, throughout that half hour. So Branded Moments is one of our most scalable solutions that helps brands bring people-based video advertising to life.

What other video solutions does Spotify provide?
Along with Branded Moments, we have original video content that we’re inviting brands to be a part of. We’re working furiously to create more content on Spotify—series and documentaries, all based around music. Now we’re allowing advertisers to associate their brand with that content and get their message in there in an organic, relevant way.

What’s coming next for brands?
We’ve taken our video mission one step further in order to make the discovery of music even more intuitive, by integrating our video content into our playlists. We’re calling this initiative Enhanced Playlists, and it’s really a huge milestone in our story of discovery.

When Spotify launched, we were based simply on access to a massive library. Now, we’re focused on so much more, like deep personalization and discovery. That growth came from simply listening to what the data told us. There are over 100 billion data events a day on our platform. With people being so active and engaged with music, we’re constantly learning more about them. Soon enough, brands will get to become part of these new video experiences that are deeply embedded into our audience’s daily life.

The best part is that we’re still learning more, all the time. Every stream, skip, like, share, and the millions of other data events happening on our platform every day, are enhancing our streaming intelligence. This means we are able to create a more relevant experiences to our audience, and we can help brands do the same.

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