Digital audio advertising 101 – Spotify


Written bySpotify Advertising Team
Audio advertising has captivated listeners for almost a century. In August 1922, New York City's WEAF aired the first radio ad: a whopping 15-minute commercial for new apartments in Jackson Heights, Queens.1
One hundred years later, audio advertising is one of the most powerful marketing channels available. With today's abundance of streaming platforms, mobile devices, and content formats, people can listen to any type of audio they want—where and when they want it. And advertisers can reach them directly with powerful, ear-grabbing messages.
They just need the right tools and resources.
That's why we launched the Spotify Advertising Academy — to help businesses of all sizes get up to speed and become certified experts on digital audio ads. With free, interactive courses like Digital Audio Foundations and Intro to Podcast Advertising, you can learn everything you need to know about digital audio and why you should use Spotify's self-serve ad manager to create quality campaigns.
Here's a peek at what these courses have to offer.
Digital audio encompasses any kind of audio listened to through an internet connection. More specifically, the main types of digital audio include:
Digital audio also spans devices and experiences. Thanks to smartphones, smart speakers, and wireless headphones, listeners can enjoy digital audio in almost any environment.
In addition to that reach, digital audio offers a level of personalization that radio never could. Listeners can create customized playlists, share songs with friends and family, and curate their listening experiences for any moment—whether they're cooking, commuting, studying, working, or taking time to relax.
Digital audio advertising is the process of inserting ads into digital audio content in order to reach listeners. This allows advertisers to connect with audiences while they're already enjoying the content they love—be it music, podcasts, or digital radio shows.
Spotify, for example, offers two main types of ads:
Online audio advertising opens up a whole new world of audience outreach for brands, providing valuable opportunities to drive engagement and revenue. People also turn to digital audio content to avoid "screen fatigue." With podcast ads, for example, advertisers can reach listeners during the "screenless moments" they crave and cherish.
Here's a quick look at why digital audio ads and podcast advertising are so effective:
Over half of Americans aged 12-34 listen to podcasts.2
Advertisers can reach listeners with messaging that matches the content, tone, and mood of what they're already engaged with.
More than 80% of listeners have taken action after hearing a podcast ad.3
You don't need a massive budget or flashy recording equipment to get into audio advertising or join Spotify's podcast advertising network. You can use a self-serve ad manager, like Spotify Ad Studio, to build your campaigns and tap into Spotify's audience of 406 million monthly active users (MAU)—including 236 million ad-supported MAU.4 In fact, with our suite of tools and resources, you can record and mix your custom audio ad in as little as 24 hours.
Monthly active users (MAU) on Spotify
Ad-supported monthly active users (MAU) on Spotify
A century after the first radio ad aired, advertisers ranging from big brands to small businesses have access to the tools they need to harness the full power of digital audio ads.
Ready to learn more about what digital audio has to offer advertisers? Register for the Spotify Advertising Academy to enjoy free, interactive training courses and become a certified expert in the field.


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