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The Ultimate Guide to Spotify Ads

Jennifer Kovalick
Written By
Jennifer Kovalick
Published On
Dec 12, 2022
Ultimate Guide To Spotify Ads - The Influence Agency

Whether you’re an advertiser looking to boost brand awareness or increase new leads, Spotify ads can help your business connect with your target audience at the right moment that will make your ad memorable.

From choosing an ad format to creating an ad in Spotify Ad Studio, we’re covering everything you need to know about Spotify advertising!

What Are Spotify Ads?

Spotify Ads allow businesses of any size to reach their target audience through a variety of different audio and visual ad formats. Ad Studio is the platform that enables advertisers to create Spotify ads and assists with free services to aid in the creation of ads.

Spotify ads have the ability to match users with ads through an auction system. Each advertiser’s campaign objective, target audience, and bid are taken into account to determine whose ad will win the auction and show the ad to the user.

What Makes Spotify Ads Unique?

Advertisers who choose Spotify ads gain insight from Spotify’s Streaming Intelligence (first-party data), which helps advertisers to create a connection with their target audience. Spotify’s Streaming Intelligence recognizes a user’s interests, moods, and moments to allow advertisers to serve ads to the users with the right message.

Spotify recommended advertisers connect with their target audience by creating ads that speak to specific moments such as serving genre-targeted ad creative. For example, if a user is listening to hip-hop music, they recommend delivering an ad with hip-hop background music.

Spotify Ad Studio is available to any business and they offer a variety of free services to create an ad from scratch within forty-eight hours! The free services include background music and voice-over actors.

  • Background Music: Select background music that matches their message
    • Spotify has a catalogue of license and free tracks that advertises can choose from or advertises can upload their own
  • Voice-over Actors: Write a script for voice actors and select the language ads should be read in
    • Select a voice actor profile along with direction for the voice actor to understand the tone

According to Spotify, 93% of a user’s brain engagement when listening to audio such as their favourite music or podcast is transferred to ads during an ad break. 

With Spotify’s ad formats, advertisers have an advantage with audio ads as they have the ability to hold the engagement of their target audiences at a higher rate than other advertising mediums.

How Much Do Spotify Ads Cost?

With Spotify advertising, there are options for every business and every budget. Advertisers can begin running Spotify ads for only $250!

Spotify ads are similar to other ad platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as ads will vary in cost based on deliverability and targeting options. The price advertisers pay will depend on competition each time an ad is served.

If an advertiser is concerned about bidding too much, they can set a bid cap to ensure that they aren’t paying more than they are willing to pay.

If an advertiser wins the auction, they will only be charged what is necessary to win against the competition and that may not always be their highest bid. 

Types of Spotify Ad Formats

Spotify offers a variety of different ad formats to help businesses achieve specific marketing goals. Here are three different types of Spotify ads:

  • Audio Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Podcast Ads
  • Custom Experience Ads

1: Audio Ads

Spotify audio ads allow advertisers to reach target audiences at the moment when they’re actively listening without any swiping or scrolling.

Audio ads are served in between songs and can include a clickable call-to-action button, which listeners can tap to visit a business app or website.

Spotify designed audio ads to connect with advertisers’ target audiences by serving personalized messages in moments that enhance the mood rather than interrupt them.

2: Video Ads

Spotify is different from other platforms as the experience is built for sound on. Spotify video ads allow advertisers to have their message heard and seen by target audiences.

Spotify video ads are only served when users are looking at the app to ensure advertisers’ messages are heard and seen by target audiences. Video ads are served when users are looking at the app to ensure advertisers’ message is being seen and heard.

Spotify offers two types of video ads:

  • Video Takeover
  • Sponsored Session

Video takeover ads allow advertisers to reach target audiences while listeners are actively browsing through the catalogue and their screen is in view. Video takeover ads include a companion banner with a call to action to drive engagement.

 Example of a Video Takeover ad.

Sponsored session ads allow advertisers to reach target audiences while they unlock 30-minutes of ad-free listening and are served to target audiences when their screen is in-view in a sound-on environment. 

 Example of a Sponsored Session ad.

3: Podcast Ads (Coming Soon)

According to Spotify, 41% of podcast listeners trust ads more if they hear them during a podcast and 81% of listeners take action as a result of listening to a podcast ad.

Currently, Spotify podcast ads are in beta and advertisers who are interested in trying these ad formats have to join a waitlist.

4: Custom Experience Ads

Custom experience ads allow advertisers to choose from a variety of multi-format ads including:

  • Sponsored Playlist
  • Overlay
  • Homepage Takeover
  • Leaderboard

Sponsored playlist ads allow brands to sponsor popular playlists to reach target audiences. Advertisers have the option to choose from Flagship, Mood & Moments, Holiday & Seasonal and many more playlists. Sponsored playlist ads have the ability to run across desktop and mobile devices and include a brand logo, tagline, and background image.

Example of a Sponsored Playlist ad.

Overlay ads allow advertisers to reach their target audience with ads designed for viewing. Overlay ads are delivered to target audiences when they return to the Spotify app and include a clickable call-to-action button.

 Example of an Overlay ad.

Homepage takeover ads allow advertisers to showcase their brand on the front of Spotify’s desktop homepage for twenty-four hours. Homepage takeover includes a clickable call-to-action button and it’s important to note that this is only for desktops.

 Example of a Homepage Takeover ad.

Leaderboard ads allow advertisers to display their ad only (no competitors in sight) for 30 seconds to ensure maximum visibility. The ad includes a clickable call-to-action button only served when Spotify is in-view. 

Example of a Leaderboard ad.

Spotify Ads Specs

Spotify audio ads are typically between 15-30 seconds and have the option to be combined with companion ads (visual ad), which includes a clickable call-to-action button.

Scripts for audio ads are recommended to be no longer than 70 words for a 30-second ad and an advertiser’s name must be no longer than 30 characters.

The anatomy of an audio ad

Advertisers have the option to select a call-to-action button from the following:


Spotify Ads Studio Ad Setup

Create An Account

Advertisers must have a Spotify account in order to create a Spotify Ad Studio account. If an advertiser wants to create multiple ad accounts under one Spotify Ad Studio account they need to add new ad accounts under one Spotify Ad Studio.

Choose An Objective

At the campaign level, advertisers name their campaign and choose a campaign objective that aligns with business goals. Setting an objective signifies to Spotify what advertisers are aiming to achieve with their ad. Spotify gives advertisers three objective options to choose from: 

  • Promoting a brand, product, or organization
  • Promoting artist’s music on Spotify
  • A concert or artist merchandise

Select An Ad Format & Platform

At the ad set level, advertisers select an ad format which includes audio, video or a custom experience.

The platforms advertisers can choose from include iOS, Android, and desktop, but it’s recommended by Spotify that advertisers choose all platforms.

Set A Budget & Ad Schedule

At the ad set level, advertisers set a budget for their campaign. Spotify allows advertisers to set a budget limit in order to ensure advertisers are not overpaying, which means ads will stop showing once they have hit a set limit.

Advertisers have the option to set an ad schedule, which allows them to set a start and end date for ads to run and times.

Define A Target Audience

At the ad set level, advertisers choose their targeting options, which include demographic, interest, real-time, genre, and fan base. 

Demographics are Spotify’s first-party data from their audiences, which includes age, gender, location, language, and platform.

Interest targeting allows advertisers to reach target audiences based on users’ activities and topics of interest. Interest categories insights are gained from users’ recent streaming behaviours of podcasts, playlists, and platform preferences to gain these insights. Advertisers have the ability to select multiple categories to expand audience reach. The categories include the following:

  • Books
  • Business
  • Comedy
  • Commuting
  • Cooking 
  • Culture & Society
  • DIY Hobbies & Crafts
  • Education
  • Health & Lifestyle
  • History
  • Fitness
  • Gaming
  • In-Car Listening 
  • Love & Dating
  • News
  • Parenting 
  • Partying 
  • Podcasts
  • Running 
  • Science & Medicine 
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Studying or Focusing
  • Tech
  • Theater 
  • Travel
  • TV & Film

Genre targeting allows advertisers to serve ads to users after they have listened to a song of a specific genre. Advertisers can select the following:

  • Alternative
  • Blues 
  • Christan
  • Classical
  • Country
  • Easy Listening
  • EDM
  • Electronica
  • Folk
  • Funk
  • Hip Hop
  • Holiday
  • House
  • Indie Rock
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • Metal
  • New Age
  • Pop
  • Punk
  • Reggae
  • RnB
  • Rock
  • Soundtrack
  • Spoken Audio
  • Traditional

Real-time allows advertisers to reach users who are listening to music for specific activities and moments. Spotify identifies and combines user and Spotify playlists to align with activities and moments and serves ads to users who listen to playlists for each category. Real-time categories are the following:

  • Chill
  • Cooking 
  • Dinner
  • Focus
  • Gaming 
  • Holidays
  • Party 
  • Study 
  • Travel 
  • Workout 

Fan base allows advertisers to utilize Spotify’s first-party data to target users who are fans of an artist an advertiser is promoting. Spotify identifies fans through recent listening behaviour, playlist adds, and follows.

Create An Ad

At the ad level, advertisers need to create the content for their ads, which includes uploading audio, images, or video (based on the format selected) and choosing a call-to-action button to tell target audiences what to do once they have heard or seen an ad.

Seven Best Practices For Spotify Ads

1. Be Casual

Spotify recommends short sentences and a conversational tone. Spotify wants advertisers to speak to users while they’re listening with natural and relatable language.

2. Focus On One Message

Advertisers should focus ads on one message that they want their target audience to think about or take action from. Advertisers should include important information, which will be easy for their target audience to remember.

3. Avoid Message Cramming

Advertisers should aim to have between 60-65 words for a 30-second ad. This will help to avoid voiceovers sounding breathless and will create a cadence with timed pauses to allow listeners to absorb information.

4. Tell A Story With Sound

Advertisers can use audio to animate an ad message. Advertisers can utilize background music and sound effects to create content for a core message.

5. Create An Audio Brand Identity

Advertisers can make their brand instantly recognizable to users with brand cues such as a jingle or memorable voiceover actor.

6. End With A Call-To-Action (CTA)

Advertisers can let listeners know what to do next with a call-to-action button. Advertisers need to be clear with target audiences to help drive action from their ads. Whether advertisers want users to visit their website or use an offer code, they need to be concise.

7. Use A Simple URL (CTA)

Advertisers who use URLs in their ad script should ensure that it’s easy to remember.  Advertisers should avoid adding too many slashes and should be able to read the URL aloud without spelling it.

Ready to Launch Your Spotify Ads?

Spotify ads allow advertisers to reach their target audience during moments that matter to achieve their business goals. 

The Influence Agency offers expert knowledge on digital advertising and can help you get started with your Spotify advertising campaign today!

Are you ready to take your Spotify strategy to the next level? Get in touch with our #TIATeam to get started.

Contact us online or call us to speak with a strategist today! 



  • Jennifer Kovalick

    Jennifer Kovalick is a Paid Media Coordinator at The Influence Agency and specializes in digital advertising strategies to scale businesses. Outside of the office, she is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur who brings her dog, Truffle, almost everywhere she goes!

    View all posts
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  • Jennifer Kovalick

    Jennifer Kovalick is a Paid Media Coordinator at The Influence Agency and specializes in digital advertising strategies to scale businesses. Outside of the office, she is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur who brings her dog, Truffle, almost everywhere she goes!

    View all posts

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