Spotify introduces interactivity to the podcast ad experience

Streaming Ad Insertion is powering our latest podcast innovation: In-App Offers

Podcasts today reach 1 in 3 or 100 million Americans (A12+) every month1 and listeners now spend over 30-minutes per day listening to podcasts.2 On Spotify, we are seeing podcast consumption grow triple digits year-over-year.3

Yet despite the high rates of engagement and the intimacy of the medium, investment in podcast advertising (less than $1 billion or 0.4% of total US media ad spend in 20204) has been limited to date, largely due to long-standing issues related to reporting and measurement.

The podcast industry by and large continues to measure ad delivery by the number of episode downloads. But with downloads, insight into ad delivery stops the moment the audio file is downloaded onto one’s device. There’s no guarantee that the download was listened to, let alone that the listener reached or acted on the ad.

Back in January, we launched Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) to break down the barriers that have kept advertisers on the podcast sidelines. Since then, we’ve started delivering unprecedented podcast reporting and insights to advertisers, including confirmed ad impressions, audience insights, creative insights, and measurable outcomes based on confirmed ad exposures. We’re pleased to announce that this game-changing podcast ad technology will be more widely available to US advertisers this summer.

“SAI delivers advertisers the most rigorous and transparent reporting available in podcasting. But the industry’s challenges don’t stop with measurement and neither will we,” says Joel Withrow, Senior Product Manager of Podcast Monetization at Spotify. We’re now turning our attention to the consumer ad experience with our latest podcast innovation—In-App Offers—powered by SAI.

__In-App Offers: Resurface offers to podcast listeners with a new visual ad experience Today, listeners who are interested in a compelling offer advertised on a podcast must go through a series of cumbersome steps to redeem that offer. Most podcast listening happens in screenless moments like when you’re getting ready for work, exercising, running errands, cooking dinner, or washing the dishes. If you hear a compelling offer, you need to make a mental note of it for when you return back to your phone or computer. If you manage to remember the offer, you still need to open your browser and input an often hard-to-remember coupon code or vanity URL. It’s just too many steps in an already hectic daily routine.

With the launch of In-App Offers, our goal is to reduce this friction and make it easy for our listeners to connect directly with advertisers and their offers featured in podcasts. Listeners can now redeem offers when the time is right for them with visual reminders like an offer card featured on the podcast’s episode page. We’re alpha testing In-App Offers in the United States and Germany with partners including Harry’s, Quibi, and HelloFresh and plan to continue testing through the end of the year.

“The average podcast listener has heard a countless number of ads ending with promo codes or show-specific websites, carefully repeated three times so as not to forget it. In-App Offers makes it vastly simpler for listeners to redeem deals whenever they come back to the app, and we can all benefit from one fewer ‘w-w-w-dot’ spelling lesson from our favorite podcast creators,” notes Withrow.

"Podcasts have consistently been a high-performing direct response channel for Harry’s over the years. However, we realize there's a lot of friction for a customer in redeeming an offer through a coupon code or vanity URL,” says Christine Menchaca, Senior Associate of Growth Marketing at Harry’s. “We are super excited to partner with Spotify on Podcast In-App Offers to innovate on this valuable performance channel."

We are excited to continue exploring the immense potential of podcasts. So keep listening, there’s a lot more to come.

1 Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2020 Report

2 eMarketer: Podcasts: Average Time Spent By Listeners in the US, April 2020

3 Spotify's Q1 2020 Earnings Report

4 eMarketer: US 2020 Podcast Ad Spend ($863M) and Total 2020 US Media Ad Spend ($263B)

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