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Spotify Ads 101 - Our review in brief

Spotify Ads 101 - Our review in brief

As the largest streaming platform, Spotify continues to evolve in terms of its services to cater not only the listeners but also the artists. Hence, Spotify Ads Studio was invented as a “simple self-serve ad platform” which is available for everyone - including you. Before jumping into using it, let’s learn more about the platform and the exact benefits of this music promotion service for an upcoming artist. To learn more how to promote your music, you can check our complete guide on music promotion with the most up-to-date tips. 

Objectives of Spotify ads

Before you set up your campaign, Spotify will ask what is the thing you want to promote: 

  1. A brand, product, or organization
  2. An artist’s music on Spotify
  3. A concert or artist’s merchandise 

As an upcoming artist, you would like to pick the second option which is promoting your music on Spotify. But what is the exact return of investment for you? Here are some campaign objectives that Spotify ads can assist you with: 

  • Reach - promoting your single/album/playlist to reach new listeners 
  • Listen - improving your Spotify streams 
  • Impression - building awareness for your brand as an artist

Types of Spotify ads 

With Spotify ads, you need to remember that the only group of users that receive the ads are Spotify Free users. According to Spotify’s latest financial report, there are 406 million monthly active users with only 180 million premium subscribers with ads free which means the number of free users comes up to 226 million. 

However, there are certain restrictions for free users to interact with your ads. For instance, a Spotify Free mobile version user can’t exactly choose which song they want to listen to but they have to listen to an entire album/playlist in shuffle mode. Hence, this addresses a need for you to consider what kinds of platforms you want your ads to take place. There are two types of ads that Spotify Ads Studio offers that vary on which platform the ads can display: display ads and interactive ads. 



Interactive ads

Audio Ads (all platforms)

When you think of promoting on Spotify, audio ads must be the first thing that pops in your mind. Needless to say, audio Ads are the most straightforward type of ad on Spotify which reaches all kinds of Spotify platforms - meaning your ads can reach any device that the Spotify user is using for Spotify. 

For Audio ads, Spotify would require you to have 30 seconds of audio with a voice-over to introduce your track. After receiving your audio, Spotify places the ads in-between songs that the user is listening to. Thus, audio ads can reach users at any platform and at any time of the day. 

If the phrase "audio ads" is unfamiliar to you, read more about our extensive article about Spotify Audio Ads

Video Takeover (mobile, tablet, desktop)

Similar to how audio ads works, video takeover runs on every platform except web players and has a limit of 30 seconds. Moreover, the ads also take place in-between songs. To make sure that your video ads get viewed, video takeover only shows up when the screen is in view. With this feature, the likelihood of users watching your video ads and interacting with your call-to-action afterward increases. 

Sponsored Session (mobile and tablet only) 

This ad format is 30 seconds video message that displays at the start of a mobile/tablet session. Compared to other ads, sponsored sessions work more like a rewarding type of ads. As an exchange for viewing your ads, sponsored sessions let users have 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening time. 

After viewing your ads, there will be a clickable companion display where you can put your call-to-action so redirect the users to any content you want them to further investigate. Thus, it can be your tracks, your music video, or your social media. 

Display Ads 

Overlay (mobile and desktop) 

An overlay is a display that only shows up when the users come back to the Spotify app - guaranteeing the ads’ viewability. Since it is a display ad, you would need to provide Spotify with an image with 630x920 in dimension and a click command in HTTPS format. With the clickable display unit, this ad typically is used to drive traffic to a certain URL destination that relates to your branding. 

Homepage Takeover (desktop only) 

As its name suggests, for 24 hours, this ad allows you to display your album cover or any visual of your branding at center stage on the front of Spotify’s Homepage. Furthermore, the ads are clickable - helping to redirect users to further information about you and your works. However, Spotify implements a struct performance guideline for homepage takeover. This also means they have the right to remove any ads that don't align with their guidelines. 

Leaderboard (desktop and web player only) 

Leaderboard is a display ad that acts as a banner when users are viewing Spotify on desktop and web player. Even though it only lasts for 30 seconds, the ads only show when users are using Spotify which increases the chance of them reading your ad's message. Similar to other ads, you can also add a clickable display unit to the ads. 

Pros of Spotify Ads

Target audience based on music taste 

As a musician, you want to approach the right group of listeners that already have a preference for listening to your music genre. Thus, Spotify Ads Studio offers a function called fan targeting which you can choose your target audience based on which artists they’re listening to. 

For example, if your music has a similar vibe to Drake’s songs, Drake’s listeners are more likely to engage with your promoted songs. Besides the typical targeting element like demographics and gender, this function sets Spotify Ads from other competitors when it comes to music promotion.

Promote music with uninterrupted ads

As your audiences are already in the process of listening to music, your ads wouldn’t appear as an interruption as you’re giving them more materials to listen to. When the ads’ intent and the target audience’s intent are more aligned, the chance of them clicking on your ads is higher. 

If you simply place your ads on a website, the ads experience would likely have a feeling of interruption toward your audience. Thus, uninterrupted ads are something that Spotify can offer when you promote your songs with Spotify Ads Studio

Cons of Spotify Ads 

Require prior knowledge of digital marketing

To some extent, Spotify Ads Studio is a tool for marketers. To effectively use Spotify Ads Studio, you need some marketing knowledge such as what type of users you should be targeting or which platform you should place your ads on. Without the knowledge, the campaign might not perform as well since such problems as you didn’t target the right group of audience can arise. Hence, you need prior knowledge of digital marketing and the music industry to successfully self-launch your campaign on Spotify Ads. 

Rely upon Spotify regulation and guidelines

As you’re using Spotify’s service, there are many regulations and guidelines that you might be unaware of, and get your ads removed. A thing to keep in mind is that Spotify reserves the right to remove any of your ads without warning if the ads violate their guidelines.

Other than that, there is a waiting period for them to allow you to use Spotify Ads Studio. Moreover, even with the current version of Spotify Ads Studio, the platform is not available for all countries yet. Thus, there are still some restrictions you might face depending on where you come from. 


Here at Base for Music, we simplify the process of using Spotify Ads Studio for you. As not all advertising platforms are accessible to everyone, our goal is to help independent artists to have access to it without needing to have a big budget and deep knowledge of music marketing

On our end, we have a team of experts and a range of data that we can use to ensure the success of your campaign. In other words, we make it easy for you to run your campaign - you only need to submit your works and we will handle the rest. 

Furthermore, you should keep in mind that many marketing channels can promote your music besides advertising on Spotify. Thus, it is important to diversify your reach by using Base for Music - helping your music get heard across multiple platforms (Spotify, TikTok, Facebook, and Youtube). 

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