Byravee Iyer
Sep 5, 2016

Spotify reveals audience data in pitch to advertisers

Streaming-audio platform claims its offerings are complementary to radio, reaching an audience that's otherwise difficult to access.

Spotify reveals audience data in pitch to advertisers

SINGAPORE - Spotify has released the results of a study called ‘The New Audio’, commissioned from TNS, to measure the reach and quality of its free, ad-supported audio service and how it stacks up to traditional broadcast radio. 

According to the study, Spotify provides 11.1 percent incremental reach compared to radio and is the third largest radio station behind Y.E.S 93.3 and Class 95 FM among users aged 15 to 64 in Singapore.

The online study and offline study quizzed 2,000 respondents in the country, asking them how, when and where they listen to the streaming service. Spotify was benchmarked against 14 Singapore radio stations. 

“This is significant because many who stream can be quite hard to reach by other commercial media,” Joanna Wong, the company's head of business marketing in Asia, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “Streaming is now mainstream and we sit on a landmine of data that can help advertisers build up their campaigns.”

Spotify's research says its users are more significant social-media influencers than radio listeners.

In Singapore, users are streaming various playlists for specific activities like working out and commuting. For instance, during the haze two weeks ago, Spotify came up with a 40-track playlist called ‘Hazed and Confused’, which featured Billy Joel’s "We Didn’t Start the Fire" and Maroon 5’s "Harder to Breathe". Likewise, the company saw a 360 percent spike in streaming when Pokemon Go launched.

Taking advantage of pop-culture moments, Wong said, is important because advertisers can target personalised messages to listeners based on what they are doing, how they are feeling, their language or time of day.

The study also showed that Spotify's audience grows steadily through the day, and actually peaks in the evening, while radio listeners typically tune in during the commute hours. 

Spotify's listening audience (dark line) grows steadily and peaks in the evening.

Spotify arrived in the region in 2013 and began building its footprint, launching in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong before expanding to Taiwan and Philippines in April 2014. The company launched in Indonesia this March and has been looking to roll out the service in Japan. Spotify’s latest figures state that the service has over 100 million active users and 30 million paying subscribers.

On offer for advertisers are video, display and audio advertising opportunities. Spotify says audio and video are where the growth is. “Display is still a part of traditional buys, but if you can look at any of the numbers pertaining to investment from across the industry, you can see display is flattening out as mobile growth is large.”

Within audio ads, Spotify now offers viewability ads. Desktop Overlay is one of its most popular ad formats on the desktop, while Mobile Overlay allows advertisers to buy display ads for both iOS and Android mobile devices. Both formats play ads only when a user has the Spotify app on the screen, thus providing 100 percent viewability.

Campaign Asia

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