Spotify launches an audience network for music and podcasts

(Credit: Getty Images)
(Credit: Getty Images)

The marketplace will allow advertisers to reach listeners across both audio formats for the first time.

Spotify is continuing its push into the podcast industry. 

At a press event on Monday, the audio streaming platform announced the launch of Spotify Audience Network, an audio advertising marketplace that will enable brands to buy media across ad-supported music and podcasts both on and off the platform.

In addition to ad-supported music, the Spotify Audience Network will allow advertisers to reach listeners on Spotify original and exclusive podcasts using Megaphone, the podcast hosting and ad tech platform it bought for $235 million in November. Buyers can also reach audiences on podcasts created on Anchor. 

Spotify is in the "early stages of developing the offering," Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer, said at the event, adding that the network will be a “game changer” that will “give advertisers the ability to reach and target audiences at scale both on and off Spotify.”

The Spotify Audience Network will "bring money to creators who maybe haven't seen it before, and [for] those that have, hopefully bring them more advertisers,” Ostroff said. “For  advertisers, it's going to bring a much wider array of content."

In addition to the audience network, Spotify has added new capabilities to its Stream Ad Insertion (SAI) product, released in early 2020 to make podcast advertising more targetable and measurable. The tool now includes audience-based buying, native ad placements and reporting on creative performance in podcasts, and will be available for all podcasts hosted on Megaphone and Anchor later this year. 

Spotify is also beta testing self-service podcast ad buying through Spotify Ad Studio, in a bid to get more small business advertisers on its platform. 

As Spotify grows its stable of solutions for ad buyers, it continues to beef up its content library. 

The platform shared details of its multiyear partnership with Warner Bros. including new podcasts about DC characters Wonder Woman, Batman, Lois Lane, Catwoman, Riddler and Batgirl. Spotify is also releasing an unscripted podcast with director Ava DuVernay and signed a content deal with brothers Joe and Anthony Russo to produce scripted shows. 

Other heavyweights include a podcast hosted by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, called "Renegades: Born in the USA." The first season will be sponsored by Dollar Shave Club and Comcast in the United States.

Spotify signed an exclusive deal in 2019 to produce podcasts with Barack and Michelle Obama, who launched her own podcast on the platform last summer.

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