Spotify Introduces New Technology for Podcast Ads

Posted on January 24th, 2020 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

Spotify recently rolled out its new Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) technology, enabling advertisers to access important podcast data such as impressions, frequency, reach, and audience demographics information, for the first time.

Podcast popularity continues to increase — up 60% since January of 2018 and expected to continue growing with 45% of listeners saying they intend to tune into more podcasts. 

“Up until now, very little performance data was available from podcasts ads. Podcasts were more of a “let’s use them because we know our audiences listen to them,” but were not able to report back meaningful data.” Senior Digital Media Strategist Margarita Klikizos explained. “Now we can see just how many people are actually listening to the ad and how they are listening. These reporting enhancements get Spotify podcasts closer to an equal playing field with other digital tactics.”

While this new technology is definitely a huge step for the podcasting world, some are concerned the space could become overcrowded as advertisers are more inclined to try it out. This is definitely a possibility, however, as more podcasts are produced there will also be more ad inventory,  so it might take a while for ad saturation to occur. 

Surprisingly, tracking hasn’t been the only thing that has kept advertisers at bay with podcast advertising. Senior Digital Media Strategist Anna Rice explains that there are a few factors that go into opting out of this tactic in campaigns, and it all comes down to your audience. 

“The inability to geo-target played a huge role in not using podcast advertisements. If I am working with more regional clients it doesn’t necessarily make sense to run a national campaign. Although now with the ability to run dynamically-inserted podcast ads (the alternative to live-reads – dynamically inserted is much more like a ‘regular’ streaming audio ad that you would hear on Pandora or Spotify for example) there is more potential for those regional clients.” said Rice. 

More options that would make podcast advertising even more attractive are being able to see how loyal listeners are to a particular podcast, as well as where loyal listeners of a specific podcast are also tuning into (i.e “Loyal listeners of xyz podcast also listen to abc podcast”).

Nonetheless, the medium is making huge strides in the right direction. With the ability to track more precisely, the podcasting sector becomes more transparent, which will attract more advertisers and continue future growth.