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Spotify is Providing Big Wins for Brands

Spotify is Providing Big Wins for Brands

4 Minute Read

·         Spotify consumers are spending an average of two hours a day on the platform; due to brands understanding the power of this high usage, the market has seen an increase of branded partnerships.

·         Brands can use Spotify’s Sponsored Sessions and Playlists to ensure high engagement with a specific target market.

·         Spotify supports vertical video, an emerging video format that brands and mobile apps are adapting to.


There has been an increase of brands partnering with Spotify that leverage the platform’s listener base to increase engagement and boost awareness. Due to Spotify being a leading tech platform, brands that partner with Spotify are associated with being more innovative and tech savvy. Tier-1 brands have been using Spotify as one of their chosen platform's in leading campaigns - such as Wendy’s dropping their fast-food mixtape at the peak of their McDonald’s feud and Gatorade using Spotify to supply personalized workout playlists for athletes. Spotify has approximately 140 million active users with about 50 million being paid subscribers (ad-free listening) (The Verge). This means that brands have full advertising access to 90 million free users with audio ads, video spots between songs, sponsored listening sessions of ad-free listening, daily sponsored playlists and more. MKTG explores aspects of this platform and the benefits brands are experiencing by partnering with Spotify.

Brands can use Spotify’s Sponsored Sessions to ensure high engagement with a specific target market.

  An example of a Sponsored Session on a mobile device. Soruce: Spotify

An example of a Sponsored Session on a mobile device. Soruce: Spotify

Sponsored Sessions allow brands to give an enhanced user experience to non-premium users. It’s a simple tactic with a big impact. Sponsors are able to communicate messaging before giving the user 30 minutes of ad-free, uninterrupted listening. These messages are delivered during a moment when consumer engagement is at its peak -  the moment before they have access to their favourite music.

Case Study: Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey

In 2017, Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey brand turned to Spotify in order to target millenial males through Spotify Sponsored Sessions. Spotify was also able to pull insights from their listenership and further target those who are alcohol purchasers. Wild Turkey then communicated their tagline “Real Bourbon. No Apologies” to this demographic in order to drive association of this tagline back to the brand. With the use of Sponsored Sessions, Wild Turkey was able achieve a 367% lift in aided brand awareness and a 41% increase in purchase consideration (Spotify for Brands, Nielsen Brand Effect).

Case Study: Starbucks

Another case study of millennial specific targeting is Spotify’s partnership with Starbucks. Music has played a vital role at Starbucks for over 40 years and the brand has decided to bring its playlist to the Spotify platform due to the brand’s credibility in the music streaming market. Not only can consumers listen to their favourite coffee shop tunes, but they also can add music to the in-store playlist during one of their visits using the Spotify app. Starbucks is also able to use Spotify’s IP online and in-store which millennials recognize and will likely reult in an increased engagement from millennials to Starbucks locations and the Spotify platform.

Spotify supports vertical videos – an emerging video format that provides a more intimate viewing experience for consumers.

Due to the increase of consumer smartphone use and video capturing on these devices, brands are formatting their videos to be viewed without rotation on smartphones. Consumers hold their phone vertically 94% of the time (Forbes) – brands have adapted to this and are beginning to invest more into creating content with this video style. Brands are also releasing ads in this format, see below for an example from Adidas:

Vertical videos are shot and edited differently than traditional videos due to vertical cropping. As a result, the content is more centered and intimate with the smartphone user. Spotify has now adapted to this and supports this vertical video feature, something not all content streaming apps do. For brands launching content geared for hand held users, it allows Spotify to be a property of choice.

Spotify provides benefits for brands beyond audio ads. Brands can target specific demographics within the platform and integrate themselves at a passion point within a consumer’s playlist. Spotify also supports the vertical video, which allows the platform to stand out amongst other mobile streaming services.

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