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The benefits of digital audio advertising

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How to get started with Spotify Ad Studio

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How to measure and optimize your Spotify Ads campaigns

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Transcript

Aleksander Cardwell:

To have you join us here today and chat about digital audio advertising. Maybe you want to give us a few words about who you are, where you’re from, and what brings you here today?

Katie Oakes:

Of course. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to chat with y’all today. My name is Katie Oakes, I’m on the product marketing team here at Spotify, and I specifically focus on advertising products, so products to help businesses of all sizes reach the Spotify audience with a really engaging message and format.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Awesome. Well, hey, it’s really great to have you here, thanks so much for joining us. For those of you tuning in, my name is [Aleks 00:01:47], I’m the Head of Product Marketing here at Supermetrics. Really interested in anything and everything marketing data-related, but I will admit that digital audio advertising is kind of… I’m a bit of a novice in that area. So, which is great, why it’s great that we have you here, Katie. And yeah, before we hop into actually discussing the first topics, just a quick look at what we’ll be covering here.

Aleksander Cardwell:

We’ll first chat a little bit about digital audio advertising in general, we’ll go through what it is, what are some of the benefits and trends, then we’ll take a look at Spotify ads in more detail, have a few slides to show you on that. And then we’ll talk a little bit about how Supermetrics and Spotify ads work together.

Aleksander Cardwell:

At any point throughout the discussion, we have a bit of… or a Q&A tab there, the bottom of the screen, feel free to drop any questions in at any point. And I and Katie will pick them up probably towards the end. We have around 45 minutes of content here, plus minus a few minutes, and then a bit of time for Q&A towards the end. All right, Katie, are you ready to hop into it?

Katie Oakes:

Let’s do it.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All right. The first thing we wanted to chat about with you guys today is just digital advertising in general. And my first question is, obviously the name, people kind of may grasp the name and kind of figure out what it’s all about, but how would you explain it? What is digital audio advertising?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, it’s a great question. And you mentioned at the beginning that you’re maybe not as familiar with this space, you’re not alone. It’s something that’s been really rapidly growing in the last two years. And so I’m really excited to get down to basics and start chatting about what this is. I think before I answer the question, what is digital audio advertising? I have to answer the question, what is digital audio? And so you can think about, really digital audio is listening to music, or podcasts, or other emerging audio formats, like live audio, audiobooks.

Katie Oakes:

It’s one they listen to online. So through an app, on a website, through a connected device, smart device, or a connected car, and you can think of it as opposed to more traditional audio or terrestrial radio, other types of audio that you might listen to, that’s not connected to the internet. So that’s what digital audio is. And digital audio advertising very simply is advertising that reaches people as they’re listening to, or engaging with that digital audio, that digital audio content.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. I like how you kind of juxtapose those a little bit, just audio advertising or audio in general versus video digital audio. I read from somewhere, I think it was maybe even on the Spotify Advertising blog that the first audio, just general audio ad ran in 1922. So it’s actually the 100-year anniversary of audio advertising. Do you guys have anything big planned for the 100-year anniversary?

Katie Oakes:

That would be a great idea. We have a full year to think of something, but yeah, I mean the medium of audio has been around for a really long time. You think about stories of your grandparents or great grandparents gathered around the radio, listening to stories. And even before that, way, way back in the day, storytelling was really an audio first format. So audio has been around for a long time and really it’s bringing it into the digital age.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All right. We’re putting it maybe in a form that a lot of people are a little more comfortable with these days, but yeah, going on, I think you might have touched, or we touched on this a little bit already, but what are the real benefits of digital audio advertising? I mean, for me, if I think of… if I’m listening to something and I get an ad, my device is probably in my pocket, I tend to skip the ads a little less. I mean, and in general, they tend to be a little more engaging, I’m kind of in that mindset already that I want to listen to something and especially if the ad is really related. So I feel like I skip audio ads a little less or digital audio ads, but what are some real benefits?

Katie Oakes:

Yes, certainly. It’s all about that engagement, and it’s really about reaching people where they’re already listening. And one of the things that I think is really important to start with is the growth that we’re seeing in the consumption of digital audio. And I know I can speak for myself, especially over the last few years, screen fatigue has become a really real problem. It’s sort of bombarded with media that’s visual in a lot of different areas throughout your day.

Katie Oakes:

And a lot of people are starting to use audio in particular as a bit of an escape from that. We found that 79% of audiences have turned to digital audio as a tool to combat that screen fatigue. And one in three have said that they’re actually looking forward to listening to more digital audio as a result of the pandemic and sort of all that bombardment of screen time that we have in front of us now.

Katie Oakes:

And I also think it’s important to mention that it’s an element of wellness as well. We ran a study last year that we call culture next, so we do every year, so there will be more data to come shortly. But last year, we saw that both millennials and Gen Zs consider audio, not just entertainment, but a really integral part of their own wellness menu for themselves. 83% of millennials and 69% of Gen Zs agree that they use audio to reduce their stress levels.

Katie Oakes:

I think that’s a really real reason why we’ve seen, especially over the last five years or so, a real increase in listening and really audio first formats. And that’s what makes it such a great place for advertising too. It’s a clutter-free environment, you’re really speaking to people directly through their ears. You’re not worried about all the different popups that might be covering your ad or people scrolling right past, right? It’s like a very engaging, direct conversation in those screenless moments where it’s otherwise really hard to reach people.

Katie Oakes:

And, it’s a really engaging format as you mentioned, Aleks, it’s something people are already in the mindset to listen and learn and be entertained. And so it’s a really trusted and engaging space. And I know we have some stats that I’ll be sharing later about how we’ve actually measured the impact on the brain of listening to audio compared with engaging with other formats. And it really improves memory retrieval, activation of reward centers in your brain, driving deeper memory and coding, which obviously is really important for advertisers who are looking to get their brand remembered and heard about.

Aleksander Cardwell:

That’s super cool. And I never really thought about that, but it really actually activates different parts of the brain. Whereas, if you get a popup on your screen, maybe it activates the wrong area, at least in my brain. But in audio advertising, it’s a little different, and I mean, I can attest to that. I listen to a lot of like… My major source of media consumption these days or podcasts is just in audio formats. So can definitely, definitely attest to that. How about like, obviously we talked really quickly about the benefits here. Are there any drawbacks to digital audio ads?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. I think one of the biggest ones that keep people from getting started is just, they don’t know how to get started with audio, especially from a creative perspective, if you’ve never made an audio ad before, it can be really hard to understand, how do I pull this together? I maybe don’t have that expertise in-house to do it myself. Maybe I don’t have someone in house with an amazing voice talent capability. And so getting started is really a big barrier to a lot of people who are interested in audio, but just haven’t done it before.

Katie Oakes:

I will say that through our own self-service ad manager at Spotify called Spotify Ad Studio, we do a lot of that work for you. So if you’ve never created an ad before, an audio ad specifically, we can help you with best practices and typing up a script. And then as soon as you submit that script at no extra charge to you, we’ll get a professional voice of our artists to record that script. We’ll mix it with a background track that you select, we’ll make it sound really professional and strong so that you’re putting your best foot forward. So really trying to reduce that barrier to entry, can be a little intimidating at first.

Aleksander Cardwell:

I’m glad you bring that up because actually, running up to the session, we ran some of our own. I mean, we’ve been dabbling in digital audio advertising before, but now, especially leading up to the session, I mean, we ran some more extensive and sophisticated campaigns through Spotify, through Spotify ads. And it was interesting because we kind of just gave you the brief and you guys just ran with it and produced the whole thing. And it was really interesting because we had the clip that came back, we were listening back to it and it was really fun to hear someone speak about Supermetrics, that you don’t recognize, because usually, we’re used to hearing our own people talk about it.

Aleksander Cardwell:

We played it at our company, [All Hands 00:10:54] a week ago, and everybody was super excited about it. So it’s really cool that you kind of provide that full service and really like you said, lower that barrier to entry. And I guess, in general, like at least thinking from our experience, audio advertising is such a new format that somehow I feel like mini advertisers may not know how it fits into their stack, and how it fits into their other ad mediums. But I think that’s what we’re here to solve today.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. I’m glad you brought up that story of listening to your own ad, something that we talk about a lot at Spotify is, the theater of the mind is, audio also really gives you the opportunity to tell a story and let the listener take over with their imagination and visualize what you’re saying, in a way that’s much more cost-effective than producing like a really high touch video ad, for example, to bring that to life visually. And so there is something really special about hearing about your brand, and hearing your story, and letting the audience fill in the visual details for themselves.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Right, right. Honestly, it’s got some pretty, pretty good applause. People were not expecting to hear it. But it’s really cool. So I think it’s a fresh take in general and it’s just like, like you said, at the beginning, we’re so used to the other mediums of advertising that it’s nice to have a bit of a break-in that flow and try out some different channels. All right. And then maybe before we go on to just talk about Spotify ads and specifically wanted to talk a little bit about trends. So, are there any… What are some major trends that you’re seeing in audio advertising or digital audio advertising per se?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, I think we’re seeing trends of growth in digital audio, both on the consumption side and on the ad spend side. So I started to mention already how much more time people are spending with digital audio, but just to bring that concretely to life, an e-marketer study from October of last year showed that users now spend more time with digital audio than any other media throughout their day. So really seeing that rapidly increase and that time spent is really high.

Katie Oakes:

Subsequently, ad spend is rising as well. So for the first time in 2021, digital audio ad spend surpassed traditional audio like radio spend in the U.S. and that was really exciting of course, for us to see, but it’s following that trend of consumption on the user side. And then, something else that’s really trendy right now, you already brought it up Aleks, is podcasts. We’ve talked about the growth of listening to digital audio overall, but the consumption of podcasts has really, really blown up in the last couple of years. And so that’s something that Spotify is putting a lot of attention on, and really trying to innovate advertising offering there too, because it’s just such an engaging medium.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. Actually, it takes me back because I was at a conference. I think the first face-to-face conference I was at after the pandemic. Well, I guess, that was during… I guess we’re still in the pandemic, but there’s a tech conference in Helsinki called Slush. And there was the, I believe it was the CTO or someone from Spotify talking about the Spotify Podcast platform and how the innovation that was made around that and like how it’s making it more accessible and everything.

Aleksander Cardwell:

So, really cool to see how this is all blending together. And in terms of like, I was also trying to read up on these trends before, as we were planning out the session and it’s really cool to think about how you can really target ads in a very different way. I read an example of a sports brand advertising running shoes in workout playlists. And you already know, working out, you’re in that mindset and you hear, you might have a pleasant-sounding ad for running shoes. It’s a really cool, cool trend.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. And I think we’ll talk about this a little bit later too, but I know, myself personally, I soundtrack each moment of my life in a different way. And so if I’m cooking dinner, I pull up a cooking-related playlist, if I’m working [crosstalk 00:15:24]. A lot of running playlists, right? And so we actually do have a lot of really interesting data that can be used to really match the message of the ad in the right moment.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah, 100%. There’s a good question in that audience from an anonymous attendee. Can we hear the ad there talking about, we won’t play the ad right now, but I don’t know, maybe we can figure out a way to distribute that afterward, or you should just listen to some podcasts on Spotify, and you’ll get it there. All right. But yeah, I think in the interest of time, I think we can keep on moving and maybe start talking about Spotify ads specifically.

Aleksander Cardwell:

In terms of the actual platform or the actual act of advertising on Spotify, I guess the first question that people typically will have is what kind of audience can you reach? So maybe, do you have any thoughts on what type of audiences are typically best reached, through Spotify ads?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, we have actually quite a wide range of listeners on Spotify. I will say that we are particularly good at reaching trendsetters and younger audiences. So we reach over 90% of Gen Z internet users and more than half of all millennials in the U.S. And that’s based on data from Comscore. We also, because we have a logged-in environment, so whenever, for those of you who have never used Spotify before, you create an account, and then you can live sent to Spotify across all of your different devices, using that same logged in information.

Katie Oakes:

And that allows us to understand a persistent identity across our devices and really offers some really interesting first-party data to use for targeting. So we already started talking about this, but we’re really able to help you match your message to our really engaged audience in the right moments across their day. And so there’s in-the-moment targeting, right? That’s based on those contextual moments like cooking, working out, or focusing on the playlist, or the content that they’re listening to kind of at that exact moment.

Katie Oakes:

And then we also can use our data to understand, based on what they’ve listened to in the past, across new music and podcasts. What are some topics that they’ve expressed interest in? So, things like education, fitness, business, parenting, gaming, you name it, we have a bunch of categories based on that historical listening data that we can use to help you find the right audience.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. That’s awesome. And I think another one, I saw someone had this quickly in the chat, but in terms of demographics, are there any specific demographics that are easier to reach through Spotify ads? Or is it across the board?

Katie Oakes:

I think it really is across the board. I mean, I mentioned the Gen Z and millennial audience we’re particularly strong in, but we have listeners, across all age ranges, all genders, really around the globe. So really something for everyone there.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. Awesome. Then I think a lot of people will also be interested to hear and just understand maybe what makes Spotify ads unique in terms of digital audio advertising.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. We’ve already talked about how engaging digital audio is overall, right? I think it’s important to call out that there’s something about Spotify and the way that Spotify curates the listening experience and that discovery process that makes the ads on Spotify even more engaging than average. And so our ad-supported listeners spend on average 2.6 hours a day listening to Spotify across their different devices. Again, that’s Comscore data.

Katie Oakes:

We found, I mentioned that study we did that analyzed the effect of Spotify ads and digital audio advertising on your brain. We found in that study that Spotify’s ads specifically drove higher engagement than TV, digital video, social media, and even higher than other digital audio platforms. And so that was really exciting to just show how that relevance and the ability for us to really curate that listening experience is coming to life, even in the signals in your brain. It was really exciting to see.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. That’s just, I mean, it’s a very, very different type of world if you think about it, in terms of other advertising media. And I think for 2.6 hours, I think we had a discussion with some friends because the thing that Spotify does always at the end of the year is the kind of yearly roundup and it tells you how much music you’ve been listening to. One of my buddies was like, he’s been listening to seven hours of music a day for an entire year, so the 2.6 is probably some of average or medium.

Katie Oakes:

It’s average. Yeah. I’m definitely up there as well. Of course, yeah, I spend a lot of my day listening to Spotify.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. All right. And then I guess another great question is this, we’ve been talking a lot about digital audio advertising as a channel, as a medium to reach people. How do Spotify Ads complement other channels maybe?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think there are a couple of ways that I can address this. The first one is, you are filling in the gaps in the listeners’ day with those screenless moments that I mentioned before, right? So in moments where other media’s not going to reach them, you have that direct line of communication into their ears. We also have done some studies to just look at the incremental reach that Spotify provides above and beyond other channels.

Katie Oakes:

And so on average, Spotify delivers a 21% incremental reach over and above the TV in the U.S. and a 16% incremental weekly reach over and above social digital platforms. And even when you know, narrowly look at other platforms like TikTok or Snap, Spotify in combination with those other platforms can double the unique reach that you can achieve on just one of them. And that’s all data based on Nielsen’s recent study called The Mixer. That’s one way that I would say, you’re reaching a broader audience in those moments that they’re otherwise not able to be reached.

Katie Oakes:

The other thing I would say is that we found that audio as a medium really boosts the results of other formats. So actually it might be surprising for y’all to hear, that we don’t just offer audio ads on Spotify, we also offer video advertising. And so in those moments where people are actively engaging with the app, scrolling through, and creating a playlist, those are the moments that we would target them when they’re in focus with a video ad.

Katie Oakes:

We’ve seen that on Spotify, even alone, audio ads really supercharge the impact of video ads. When you run a multi-format campaign, that includes both audio and video, we’ve seen nearly two X the ad recall and more than two X increases in brand awareness compared to just running that video ad alone. So again, it’s that ability to engage the listener in these other moments and with a different type of storytelling that really brings it home.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah. It almost acts as a way to enhance other channels as well. And going a little back to what I was discussing earlier, the example of the sports brand and the running shoes, the ability to at least, I feel like it’s… You have a way of targeting people in quite a specific mood that you might not be able to do in other channels, and that, paired with retargeting and other channels is really at least a key selling point for myself.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. And it can offer some really creative use cases as well. This was a few years ago, but I think it’s still far and away, my favorite campaign that we’ve ever partnered with a client on. There was a campaign we ran with Snickers. And I don’t know if everyone’s aware of Snickers long-standing campaign that, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah.

Katie Oakes:

And so they came to Spotify and they were like, “How can we use this contextual information that you all have on your listeners to create a really creative fun campaign around it?” And what they did, and this is more of a bespoke custom solution, right? But the type of thing that you can work with Spotify to do is they were able to create a target audience that people who are listening to content, that was very unlike what they typically listen to.

Katie Oakes:

So let’s say, you typically listen to really chill music and you find yourself listening to heavy metal one day. You could be targeted with an ad that’s like, “Are you hungry? You’re not really acting like yourself.” And it was part of their broader campaign. And so that was a really fun way of using that data in a really unique way.

Aleksander Cardwell:

That’s so cool and it really ties into their whole brand narrative. That’s cool, that’s thinking outside the box.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah.

Aleksander Cardwell:

I guess that leads me on pretty well to the next question, which in general, are there some specific types of campaigns that work particularly well on Spotify ads?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, it’s a great question. So, one thing I’ll say I mentioned before is that we have a self-service ad manager called Spotify Ad Studio. And really our goal for that channel is to make it as easy as possible for any type of business, whether you’re a small local business or a massive Fortune 500 company to really run ads on Spotify and reach that right audience.

Katie Oakes:

And so, we’ve seen a lot of success really from across very different verticals. Some of the industries that I think especially have found success on the self-service tool at studios include, as you can imagine, music and other entertainment companies, but also CPG, tech, education, B2B, automotive, retail, nonprofits, government. So it really does run the gamut, the types of industries that have found success with Spotify.

Katie Oakes:

I think some other things to keep in mind about when Spotify’s a really great opportunity. One is if you want to run regional campaigns within the ad studio, you have the ability to target most locations down to the postal code level. So you can really get creative with your messaging and really target a specific audience based on where they live. The other thing that we’ve seen as a trend, especially in the last couple of years as the pandemic has risen up is the need for advertisers to be able to really quickly do creative swaps, and make changes to their creative on the fly.

Katie Oakes:

And audio is actually quite an easy and low-cost type of creative where you can do that much more easily than you could with saying like a video ad, right? And so we’ve seen a lot of campaigns in the last couple of years where advertisers really lead into that ability to make changes and adjust their messaging along the way.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Awesome. I think, and you gave a great… A few really good vertical examples there, but it’s really interesting to hear that it’s kind of something that is again used across the board and there’s anyone from an education company, or an educational institution to Snickers can find some success there. Well, I think we have now… We’d probably like to look through a few examples and a few slides just really detailed more on the product. And for that, I guess the best way for us to do this is you keep talking and just tell me when to switch the slides and we’ll go from there, but let’s start out with maybe the audio experience.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. So why don’t you just quickly show, because I know not everyone on the line is a Spotify user or a free Spotify user who’s been exposed to advertising? So I wanted to start by just showing what that experience looks like for the listener. So the audio experience, whether on mobile or desktop, looks like this, obviously there would be an audio ad playing. We didn’t get that set up and synced with this slide, but you have this full-screen moment within the mobile version of the app, where you get to have a companion image, a clickable call to action, and then the audio ad playing throughout the duration. And as you can see, it’s very much a 100% share of voice. There are no other ads at that moment that are taking away the attention of your brand.

Katie Oakes:

So that’s something that a lot of our advertisers find value in. If you go to the next slide, you can see what the video experience looks like. So I mentioned that we have video ads as well on Spotify, and those are only going to play when the screen is in focus. So if someone’s got it in their pocket, if they’ve got it playing through a speaker, something like that, we will only serve audio ads in those moments. But when we know that they have a screen up and in focus, we’ll take advantage of those in-focus moments and play a video ad.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Very cool. Yeah. That was something that I didn’t, because when we were experimenting with our… We experimented specifically on the podcast side and we were just running an audio ad and to hear this way, how you can make them work together and enhance them, I feel like adding the video experience to the whole audio advertising is super, super cool.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah. We definitely find that sort of multi-form approach on Spotify really works very well.

Aleksander Cardwell:

How about then, if we think about just like in general building a campaign, how would you go about just building literally your first campaign on Spotify ads?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, so right in here, you can see some screenshots of what Spotify Ads Studio looks like when you’re building a campaign. We’ve organized our campaigns at the overarching campaign level. And then you can have multiple ad sets within a campaign, and multiple ads within each of those ad set. Very similar to how other ad managers across the industry organize their campaigns. And so, at the campaign level, really the goal is to create an overarching folder to capture all of your ad sets, so you add a name and then you select what you’re promoting, whether that’s a brand, product, or organization.

Katie Oakes:

We do have some additional features available for people who are promoting artists’ music on Spotify, a concert, or artist merch. And so, depending on which ones you select, you might unlock some additional features there. Then you go into the ad set level if you go to the next slide. And the first thing that you’ll do here is select your placement. I will call out that podcast advertising right now is only available in the U.S., but it’s something that we’re looking to expand across the world in the next few months and years.

Katie Oakes:

In this example, we’ll show you what that music flow looks like. So if you aren’t choosing to place your ads in music, the next step would be to choose your format. So you can see that we have audio, we have video, that’s horizontal, and video that’s vertical as well. And so in this example, let’s say we choose audio, and you can see that you can also select platforms. So if there’s a reason that you want to target mobile-only, or desktop only, you can do that as well. Although we generally recommend that you target all platforms, unless you have a real, specific reason to do otherwise.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Actually, one thing, just to go back just to tad, because you mentioned podcast ads being only available in the U.S. In general, the rest of the advertising formats, are they available? There’s just a question about this in the chat. What’s their kind of global availability right now?

Katie Oakes:

Between audio and video, is that the question?

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah, yeah.

Katie Oakes:

So everything else we’re showing outside of podcasts is globally available in most markets. I think we live somewhere around 23 or 24 markets around the world. So, if you have a specific market you’re interested in, let us know and we can let you know whether we’re living there.

Aleksander Cardwell:

I think it was El Salvador that was mentioned.

Katie Oakes:

Oh, interesting. I don’t know where we live. I don’t think we’re living in El Salvador yet, but we certainly can look into adding that to our roadmap.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Here’s a plus one for El Salvador on the roadmap.

Katie Oakes:

Thanks for joining us El Salvador [inaudible 00:31:48].

Aleksander Cardwell:

And then from here maybe, I don’t know, scheduling and budgeting, how do you work with that on the campaign level?

Katie Oakes:

It’s really quite easy. Once you select your format and your placement, you just input your parameters around your schedule and your budget. So a start and end date, you can select a specific start and end time as well. And then you can really select whatever budget you’re looking to run. The minimum spend is $250 in the U.S. and roughly the equivalent in all other market currencies. So, you really can get started with a fairly low cost of entry.

Katie Oakes:

We have some prepopulated budgets here, but you can really run kind of insert a custom amount to whatever type of budget you’d like. You can also see that we offer frequency capping. And so if you turn that on, you can designate, I don’t want my ad to run more than four times per day, or 10 times per week, or a certain number of times per month.

Aleksander Cardwell:

And then in terms of targeting, because there are a lot of questions in the audience, in terms of targeting. I think you have a slide on here. So how does really targeting work on the campaign level?

Katie Oakes:

So, for each ad set, you can set up different targeting. You’ll first select which country you’re targeting. So if you want to run a multi-market campaign, you’d have to set up a different ad set for each country. But then within each country, you can get down, as I mentioned with location targeting really down to as local as postal code, but also region state, DMAs in the U.S., so there’s a lot of different ways you can cut those locations. And then you can see demographic targeting as well. We offer age targeting, we also offer to target gender. So those kinds of standard demographics are available.

Katie Oakes:

As you start to select your target audience, on the right-hand side, you’ll see a module that tells you what your likelihood to deliver your budget is. So that’s based on the schedule you’ve inputted the budget and your target audience, and that can help you decide, am I getting too niche with my audience? Maybe I’m not likely to deliver my budget in full. And so in that case you might either choose to stand more budget, or widen out your audience, or widen out your flight dates to just get that balance right.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah, I think I remember when we were setting these up, those were the key levers we were playing with to make sure we were staying on pace there. And you had that we talked about the additional targeting options and the additional ways. You mentioned gender and you mentioned a few other things here, but what are some of the other, like the things that you can use to target on Spotify ads, things that I think, I guess looking at these on the screen, things that you really couldn’t target on based on say, a general, maybe a social media ad or a TV ad, especially?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, yeah. This is really where Spotify sort of differentiates yourself with how you can set up these campaigns. And so we talked a little bit about interest targeting. That’s a really popular way to target listeners and it’s based on their historical listening data, whether to different playlists or different podcasts on different devices. So I mentioned some examples of some of those interests that are available. It’s like fitness and business and really runs the gamut across a lot of different categories that you can really get really confident that you’re reaching people that are interested in your type of product or service.

Katie Oakes:

The next one here is real-time context. So we talked about this one as well. This is all about reaching people in the context or in the moment when they’re doing a certain activity, and listening to a specific playlist. So the example we gave before was if someone’s listening to a running playlist, that might be a perfect time to target them with an ad for running shoes or a sports drink, or something related to that moment in activity.

Katie Oakes:

Then we have genre targeting, and this is all about targeting people based on the genre of music that they’re listening to right before they hear the ad. As you can imagine, this is really effective for folks who have more of a music strategy or promoting music-related products and services. But it also can be really well used to make sure that the creative of the ad that you’re running melds together with the listening experience. So if you’re using a background track, that’s really like hard rock, it might make sense to target people who are listening in similar genres so that you’re really kind of creating that consistent listening experience.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Right, right, right. Makes sense. And I think the next slide here is one of the things we touched upon, especially in terms of creating the actual audio ad. Maybe talk us through that a little bit. How did the audio creative tools work?

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, this is one of my favorite parts of the platform, because I think it is just really fun and very cool. You can of course upload your own audio ad if you have one, or if you have those resources in-house or an agency to work with. But if you don’t at no extra charge beyond the cost of the campaign already, we’ll produce it for you. And so it’s a little hard to time my narrative with the gift we have here, but essentially, what you do is you say, “I want your help to help me create one.” You can type in your script, you can choose the voiceover artist. So their accent, the language, their profile, whether it’s younger, older male, or female voices.

Katie Oakes:

You can give the voice actor some tips and information about how to pronounce your brand or product, and the tone that you want them to achieve when they’re reading your ad. And then you can pick through our library of background tracks, or add your own if you have one that you have the right to. And once that’s shipped off and you’ve given us all that information, within 24 to 48 hours, you’ll receive an email that says your ad is ready to review. You can listen to it and make edits and changes from there, and then set it live when it’s ready.

Aleksander Cardwell:

That’s a surprisingly quick turnaround time, in terms of getting these live, because I imagine that that can’t be easy logistically.

Katie Oakes:

We’ve really created a very like scaled process to do this, and so that’s really something that I think, as I mentioned before, that sort of ability to be more flexible with your creative, make changes on the fly. It’s really possible because of that short turnaround time.

Aleksander Cardwell:

I think this is really what sold Spotify as to me is the ability to… because this really is, as we discussed in the beginning, this could be a barrier to entry getting that actual asset, that audio asset ready for advertising. So kudos to you guys for building out a really great process.

Katie Oakes:

Thank you.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Cool. I think we have a few more topics here to cover before we open up into Q&A. And I think the next one we wanted to talk about a little bit before we hop into maybe the super metric side of things is measuring and optimizing campaigns on Spotify ads. How do you guys approach it? You may have any built-in tools for optimizing that. I know that there have been a lot of questions in chat about this, basically.

Katie Oakes:

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think one main point to get across here is that, because this is a digital medium and is over the internet, it’s streaming it’s real-time, it’s much more measurable than you would expect with traditional audios, things like radio. And so just like your digital ads on social or other platforms, we can actually report on actual impressions, the number of unique people that you reach, and at what frequency? What was the completion rate? How many people clicked on the ad, how many clicks did you get, and what was that click-through rate? What are some audience insights as well? What types of people engage with or listen to your ad?

Katie Oakes:

And so, it’s a lot more similar to digital media in that respect, than it is to things like radio or other more traditional mediums. So, really we offer a real-time reporting dashboard, where you can understand all of those metrics. And then of course we work with reporting partners like Supermetrics to help you really monitor your campaigns, not just within Spotify’s UI, but across all of your media, and really doing that at scale.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yep, yep. Yep. Yeah. And I’m glad you called that out a little bit. We’ll of course go through some examples of how we work together here, actually in the very next section. But there’s also… I just saw this. There’s a question right as we move to the previous, the optimizing question about the turnaround time for creating audio. And we just mentioned that it’s about 24 to 48 hours, which is again, lightning fast.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All right, but onto how we work together. Now, you obviously mentioned that at Spotify ads, you provide a reporting dashboard within the platform. But Supermetrics where we come in is kind of a more, a way of streamlining your data delivery across the number of different channels, not just Spotify ads, but obviously, we’ll talk primarily about Spotify ads here today.

Aleksander Cardwell:

So what Supermetrics… First of all, if you’ve never heard of Supermetrics, we are the leading marketing data pipeline provider. So, we essentially streamline the delivery of data from all major sales and marketing platforms, including Spotify advertising to the reporting tools. You guys in the audience already are familiar with using, so we have a few examples here on the site like Google’s Data Studio, Google Sheets, a number of our data warehouses, et cetera.

Aleksander Cardwell:

But essentially, a lot of you probably already use some kind of reporting tool, and Supermetrics essentially allows you to bring all that data in from all of your marketing and sales platforms into one place. So it really lets you get the data without the chaos. You don’t have to log into a bunch of different platforms. And the way we do it with Spotify ads… What I have on the screen here is just one example, but essentially what it all starts with is to first authenticate with Spotify ads.

Aleksander Cardwell:

The cool thing here is that you can usually do it directly from the reporting tool you use, like the example I have here on the screen with the Google Sheets. A lot of our integrations are built directly into the reporting tools, where you can open it up within your reporting tool, authenticate, and immediately start moving data. You can do it again, directly within the reporting tool or then in the Supermetrics UI, especially for some of our kinds of data warehouse and data lake transfers.

Aleksander Cardwell:

One cool thing here, I think in terms of how we work with Spotify ads is that you can actually connect multiple Spotify ads accounts, and bring data in from multiple accounts into one place. This is especially useful if you’re like a major marketing agency doing Spotify advertising for a bunch of businesses, and you need to have access to a bunch of different accounts and a bunch of different data. Or if you’re like a major kind of conglomerate or a bigger account organization that has multiple smaller brands, that advertise independently on different Spotify ads accounts.

Aleksander Cardwell:

You can actually connect a bunch of accounts by bringing data into one unified view without having to log out and log back in onto multiple different times, but multiple different accounts. Once you’ve done it, you essentially are able to start pulling that data directly into the reporting tool you use. So, it literally lets you query basically any data you have in or transfer any data you have available to you in Spotify ads. And building those queries takes literally less than a minute, and you can slice and dice that data in any form, directly in the reporting tools that you use.

Aleksander Cardwell:

So in that way, it makes it a little more flexible in terms of how you want to look at the data, in terms of maybe, week on week breakdowns, month on month breakdowns, year on year. You can do slightly more comparisons, of course, again, depending on the tool that you use. And again, these queries and these data transfers can usually be set up directly in the reporting tool you used. For example, here in Google Sheets, you could do it in Google Data Studio. For a lot of our data warehouse tools and data lakes solutions, we offer our clear manager product, where you can set stuff up in the Supermetrics UI and then transfer it to your destination of choice. So, really simple and easy, no code required, just pull the data in, and off you go.

Aleksander Cardwell:

And one thing kind of advantage maybe, we talked of course about one of the advantages that this brings in terms of you can connect multiple different accounts, you can connect multiple different brands, and view reports in one unified location. With that data, it means that you’re able to create… This example here is actually from our Google Data Studio default template, which means that you can pull that data in from multiple different locations and get a centralized view of how things are going.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All these reports are always fully-customizable. You can view whatever metrics you want, in any order you want, in any way you want, and break them down by any type of granularity. And the cool thing here is that when you’re using an outside reporting tool, maybe Google Data Studio, maybe it’s Sheets, whatever you have in-house, you can share those reports more freely with other people around the organization. Even for people that can’t necessarily log in to Spotify ads, you can take that data and present it to your stakeholders, whether that’s your CMO, or maybe your clients if you’re an agency. You can really easily give people access and gain that kind of data transparency.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Another cool thing, of course, thinking about, we’ve talked about how these channels typically complement each other. You can bring in data from multiple different networks, Spotify ads, maybe you’re running some social media advertising, some search advertising. You can bring results into one view and have a clear view of all your networks in one place.

Aleksander Cardwell:

And one thing I noticed, Katie here, and I’m not sure, maybe I just wasn’t seeing it in Spotify advertising. But we’re able, if we’re, for example, looking at this report here on the screen. It’s a little small, but you can see the impressions by region. And I wasn’t able to find an impression by region breakdown in the native reporting tool. Maybe it’s just not me finding it, but again, this kind of Spotify API provides even more data than is necessary, always shown on screen in the advertising suite. So, you really have a wide variety of things you can break down the data by.

Katie Oakes:

Yep, that’s exactly right. I think these integrations, like with Supermetrics, give you the opportunity, not only to see your data across all the different channels you’re running but also to see different cuts that might be available in the UI itself.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So, there are some advantages when you use a tool like Supermetrics for reporting on the data. Again, as soon as those fields and data points become available in the Spotify API, they’re always available for you to pull in and play around within your reports. All right, I promised about 15 minutes for Q&A. We’re 12 minutes to the hour. So maybe we can move on to some open Q&A. And I know that we walked through a few pretty quick examples here on the screen in slide format. Some of you may want to learn more. And if I’m not totally mistaken, there will be a poll sometime right about now, where you can indicate your will if you’d like to contact us and have a bit of a more in detail chat on how these platforms could work for you.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All right. And I think, I don’t know, I don’t get the polls since I’m posting, but hopefully, it went live for… There it is, now I see it. I won’t answer it though. All right. I guess we have a ton of questions here in the chat, so maybe let’s start off with something simple, that at least I can answer right off the bat. There was a question on the reporting template that I just had on the screen. So the one with the geo breakdown, and some of those metrics from Spotify ads. And the question was, “Is that something anyone can use?”

Aleksander Cardwell:

And yeah, that’s actually our default template. That’s available to all of our Google Data Studio clients. I think all registrants will be getting a follow-up email about the session, and that actually will link you to that template. So you can start using it immediately if you want, and test that and see how it works for you, especially if you’re a Data Studio user. And Data Studio templates are super flexible, so you can take it and make it your own. You can change it completely, break it down, and build it back up again. And we do have also, I’ll call out that we have a very great professional services team in-house. So, if you need some more different reporting needs, not directly in our default template, we can hook you up there, as well. All right, I see a lot of questions already were answered directly by the team. Thank you guys for handling those. There are so many here. [crosstalk 00:50:22] –

Katie Oakes:

I see a trend with some of the questions in here, asking about premium subscribers to Spotify. So I’m happy to address that one because I think that-

Aleksander Cardwell:

Go ahead.

Katie Oakes:

… there are a fair amount of questions there. So yeah, great question. So the way that our offering works is that ads that run in music are run towards our ad-supported listeners. So those are the folks who have free versions of Spotify and that they’re listening to is monetized through advertising. And so, when you’re running standard music ads, that’s specifically targeting that free audience on Spotify.

Katie Oakes:

One thing that I will note that is sometimes a common misconception is that there might be a difference in the level of household income, for example, between folks who have free Spotify accounts and folks who have premium Spotify accounts. We’ve actually done a lot of research into that and we don’t see that as an actual trend. When you actually look at the data, I understand where the misconception comes from. But we’ve seen people across all different levels of household income, who’ve just decided to be free Spotify users, perhaps they don’t mind the ads so much.

Katie Oakes:

And then on the podcast side. So as I mentioned within the U.S., we offer podcast advertising through Spotify Ad Studio, and those podcast ads do get played to both free and premium listeners on Spotify. So that’s just the one distinction.

Aleksander Cardwell:

All right. Yeah, I saw a bunch of questions on that, so I’m glad you picked it up. Do you see anything else in there that you’d like to take a crack at? I have one if you’re still searching.

Katie Oakes:

You go ahead and I’ll take a look at the next one.

Aleksander Cardwell:

So, there’s a question about the destinations that we transfer data to. You see a few of them on the screen, but these are obviously not all of them. So the question was specifically around the Amazon or the AWS ecosystem, like, “Do we transfer data to data warehouses like Redshift and data lakes like S3?” Yes. Yeah, we do. We support both Redshift and S3, right out the box. We also have a number of solutions in the Microsoft ecosystem, beyond the Power BI that we have on the screen here. We have Azure Synapse, Azure Storage, Azure SQL Database is going to be released very, very soon. So keep a look at that.

Aleksander Cardwell:

So yeah, we support all major data warehousing and data lake solutions. And then we have our Supermetrics API product, which allows you to essentially deliver data to any destination that you use, even those that we don’t have built out of the box. And I will mention, I can’t say yet what it is, but we are going to be releasing a huge new destination very soon. I probably already said too much, but just keep your eyes peeled. There’s going to be a pretty cool release, later this year.

Katie Oakes:

Very nice. I love a roadmap preview. I’ll call out a question that I think is another kind of trend in some of the questions we’ve gotten. So someone asked, “Where do Spotify ads fall within the purchasing funnel? Do you see more brands and campaigns are for awareness, and more top of Funnel campaigns, or bottom of Funnel with conversion goals?” Which I think is a really smart question to ask. The way that audio ads typically work right now, we’re seeing a lot more fall in that upper Funnel brand awareness kind of category.

Katie Oakes:

As some of you intuited, it’s not always the most clicky format. If you’re looking to drive a sort of last-click attribution, what’s the last thing that’s going to get someone to make a purchase at that moment? But it’s, as I mentioned before, a really important weight around your strategy to build that awareness, and build that consideration for your brand and product, and then partner with other channels and other types of media to really drive that kind of last click and last purchase.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Really cool. Very cool. There’s a here from Adam around Supermetrics pricing. So you’re a customer already, and yeah, you have a question about adding the Spotify ads connector to your existing tier, depending on what plan you’re on, you should be able to add the Spotify Ads Connector to your existing tier for quite a low fee. I believe it’s $35 a month. Again, it depends a little on what package you’re on, but we need maybe a little more detail to answer that, but yeah, essentially, you can add connectors at quite a low fee to existing tiers. Katie, do you promote a lot of book products on Spotify advertising?

Katie Oakes:

Interesting. We do have book publishers as a category on Spotify. So certainly I could see that and in fact, books are actually an interest category that we offer in targeting. So you can target people who have historically expressed interest in books based on what they’ve listened to.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Mm-hmm (affirmative) yeah, that’s… I don’t think I… I specifically was trying to listen to some Spotify, some ads on Spotify recently just to hear what kind of stuff is going on, that’s where I got the running example. But I didn’t hear any books. There’s a question from Lakshmi around LinkedIn ads. Yes, we connect with LinkedIn ads as well. That’s part of our… one of our very, very standard connectors, works perfectly fine alongside Spotify ads. Is the Spotify ads platform available in Portugal, Katie?

Katie Oakes:

You’re putting me on the spot.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Yeah.

Katie Oakes:

I don’t believe that we’re live in Portugal, but I can double-check that and let you all know.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Vivienne, we’ll get back to you on that one. Sorry for [crosstalk 00:56:22]-

Katie Oakes:

I see a question in here that I think is a really good one. The question is, are ads in digital audio disruptive, especially when you are so keenly involved in listening to a particular topic. It’s a great question. It’s actually something that we try to do a lot of education around, how to make sure that you’re not just necessarily copy-pasting your approach in, for example, radio ads that might be a bit loud, and a bit sometimes aggressive, to really capture that attention.

Katie Oakes:

Within Spotify, we really try to make the ad experience as seamless and as enjoyable as we possibly can for our listeners. And in fact, we’ve heard from some listeners and anecdotally that they really look forward to ad breaks as a break in the content you think about when you’re listening to a podcast. Sometimes it’s nice to just have that moment where you might be listening to a very intense topic, and then you have an opportunity to take a step back, listen to something else, and then come back to the information later.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Very cool. Question from Joy. “Can you get TikTok ads with Supermetrics?” Yes, yeah, you can bring it in, it’s actually on the screen here as well, right below Spotify advertising. That’s also, and we were talking about that as well. Right, Katie, how combining Spotify advertising with advertising and content in general on channels like TikTok and Snap really magnifies that. Okay. Anything else in here you’d like to answer? I think we might have time for one more. We have two minutes left before we have to sign off.

Katie Oakes:

There are so many great questions here.

Aleksander Cardwell:

I feel like, so for everybody in the chat, we’re obviously… we’re also going to be doing, I think, hopefully, a little roundup in the session. So a lot of these questions, we just will never have time to answer, so maybe we can follow up with some content around a lot of these. This is an interesting one. “Are there any restrictions when running an ad on the Spotify platform? What kind of restrictions do you have in place?” I think that’s maybe… Is that a good one to sign off on?

Katie Oakes:

Sort of an odd one to end on, but that’s all right. There are some restrictions, we have an ads policy, and so we have every ad go through a human review process to make sure that they meet our policies. They’re not promoting fraudulent products or categories that might be sensitive to our listeners. So you can find that full ads policy on our website. But we do have that kind of moment of ad review because we’re really focused on creating a really enjoyable, brand-safe, and listener-safe safe environment on Spotify.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Awesome. Quite standard stuff, I guess, for an ads network. All right. But with that, I think we’re approaching the top of the hour. With that, I’d like to say that, thank you all for joining us today. It’s been, and Katie, especially, it’s been a pleasure having you share your wisdom around digital audio advertising in general and just the space. Do you have any last words of wisdom before we sign off?

Katie Oakes:

No last words of wisdom. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for having us. I’m really excited about this partnership and I hope to see you all testing out digital audio soon.

Aleksander Cardwell:

Very cool. Very cool. Well, if that’s it then, and everybody here, if you have a long… Some of us have a long weekend coming up, I know I do. If you do, please enjoy it. Take it easy and yeah, we will see you at the next one. Bye, everyone.

Katie Oakes:

Thanks, everyone.

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