News & Insights

Spotify Audience Network: What’s next for podcast advertisers

Connecting advertisers with more listeners — now with smarter tools and new brand safety controls.
When we announced the Spotify Audience Network earlier this year, we set out on a path to change the way people approach podcast advertising. Our audio-first advertising marketplace connects advertisers with listeners using audience-based targeting tools — while helping creators earn more for their work. Since the initial U.S. launch, we’ve expanded the Spotify Audience Network into Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, giving more marketers access to audience-based podcast buying.
Now, the results are in: Since the initial launch in April, about 4X more advertisers are running ads across the Spotify Audience Network.1 That includes many first-time podcast advertisers like Saks Fifth Avenue and other enterprise brands. And with the addition of third-party enterprise podcast publishers, we have more than tripled our total podcast ad inventory.1 Since then, the total number of podcasts in our network has grown by more than 50%1 — with even more on the way.

  • 50%

    More podcasts

    Since launch, the number of podcasts in our network has grown by more than +50%.1

Today, we’re excited to announce several new updates to the Spotify Audience Network to connect businesses and creators of all sizes — and actions we’re taking to increase brand safety in digital audio.

Introducing Anchor to the Spotify Audience Network

In the coming weeks, a selection of top podcast creators from Anchor and their listeners will be coming to the Spotify Audience Network in the US. As one of the world’s leading podcast creator platforms, Anchor is a launchpad for emerging podcast talent, powering 70% of Spotify’s catalog2 — including hit shows like Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry, How Long Gone, and Office Hours Live with Tim Heidecker.

Spotify Audience Network's growing podcast catalog currently includes shows from Spotify Podcast Studios (Spotify Studios, The Ringer, Gimlet, and Parcast) and leading third-party enterprise podcast publishers like ViacomCBS and The Wall Street Journal. The addition of Anchor to our audience network will open a new supply of top podcast talent for advertisers, increasing the scale and reach of their podcast campaigns.

Democratizing podcast advertising

Earlier this year, we announced our ambition to make podcast advertising available to businesses of all sizes. We’re pleased to announce that in the coming weeks, advertisers in the U.S. will have access to the Spotify Audience Network through our self-service advertising platform Spotify Ad Studio, allowing them to reach their audience as they listen to podcasts on and off Spotify. With Ad Studio, advertisers can deliver podcast ads for as little as $500, with creative production provided at no additional charge, and a real-time reporting dashboard to track delivery throughout the campaign.

Early beta testers included TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, a Michigan-based national moving company. Greg Kohler, digital ads lead at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, said, "We’ve been interested in podcast advertising for a while, but our campaign with Spotify Ad Studio was the first time we were actually able to test it. The whole booking process, from narrowing in on our target audience to briefing and receiving the creative was really simple and intuitive, and we are looking forward to making podcast advertising a recurring part of our marketing plans."

Sign up for an account to get an alert when the Spotify Audience Network is live in Ad Studio.

Launching new AI-powered contextual targeting

The Spotify Audience Network offers a broad range of easy-to-use targeting tools, including demographic targeting (age, gender, and geo), behavioral targeting, and custom targeting (audience match). Today, we’re announcing a new option for advertisers to reach their audiences with the launch of contextual targeting.

With contextual targeting, advertisers can run ads across podcast episodes that cover topics relevant to their business — reaching the right listeners during the right moments. Using episode-level podcast transcription technology, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, this offering goes beyond keywords to understand language, sentiment, and context. Advertisers will soon have access to contextual targeting options for their podcast campaigns through direct sales or Ad Studio.

Setting the standard for brand safety in audio advertising

Finally, we're doubling down on our commitment to providing brand safety tools for advertisers. Our approach to brand safety has always included a combination of people, policies, and technology to ensure Spotify remains a trusted platform for our partners. Now, we're expanding our brand safety capabilities with new features, starting with the addition of sensitive topics. Using episode-level transcription technology, sensitive topics will allow advertisers to exclude topics that might not align with their campaign objectives and brand strategy.

We are partnering with OMD to alpha test both contextual targeting and sensitive topics. Melissa Burke, Senior Director of Audio Investment at OMD, said, "At OMD, our priority is ensuring our clients are the first to benefit from innovation in any channel. As Spotify continues to drive advances in podcast advertising and the broader shift towards audience-based podcast buying, collaborations like the contextual targeting and sensitive topics alpha tests help us keep our clients ahead of the innovation curve."

We’re also pleased to announce that Spotify has joined Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) as the first audio partner. GARM is a cross-industry initiative founded and led by the World Federation of Advertisers. “As our first audio partner, Spotify will be an integral part of the GARM community, helping to define what brand safety means for audio," said Stephan Loerke, World Federation of Advertisers CEO. "As one of the world's biggest audio streaming platforms, they will not only help set industry standards — but will serve as an example for other audio players in the space.”

Want to be part of the future of podcast advertising? Reach out to your Spotify sales rep, or sign up for an account on Spotify Ad Studio.

  1. Spotify First Party Data, September 2021

  1. Spotify First Party Data, 2020

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