Spotify Ads vs. TikTok Ads: Which one promotes music better?

Spotify Ads vs. TikTok Ads: Which one promotes music better?

There are numerous social media platforms to promote your music, and do you - as an independent artist, know which one is more effective? Currently, Spotify Ads and Tiktok Ads are the two giant fellows with the most talked about when it comes to music promotion. However, we need to stop for a second about which platforms will connect your music to millions of listeners better, Spotify or Tiktok? 

The answer will depend on your stage as an artist in the music career to match the most effective one. Here are two questions that you should reconsider your strategy before you spend money and effort on it. Furthermore, you can also check out our blog about top 4 social ad platforms for music promotion.

What is Spotify Ads

Spotify has been very successful in dominating the music market and becoming a must-have streaming platform for artists’ distribution around the world. Free users on the platform will receive the ads in exchange for 15 minutes of listening to music without interruption. Moreover, there are two types of ads on Spotify: display ads and interactive ads. 

For more detailed information, you can read our review on Spotify Ads Studio

What are TikTok Ads?  

TikTok advertising has shown its music marketing power when big record labels are now putting much effort into both TikTok ads and organic TikTok content (singing, dancing challenge) to promote their artists’ releases. There’s even a hilarious “my record label is forcing me to make a TikTok” trend that was made as a satire for record labels’ obsession with TikTok. To learn more about label’s music promotion pratices, check out our article on 6 music promotion tips you can copy from records labels. 

Their obsession can be explained due to TikTok’s spot-on algorithms - resulting in more than millions of active and high engagement rate from users. Hence, the ads on Tiktok will reach the target users more frequently and effectively.  If you want to learn more, sign up to our newsletter to get the first access to our upcoming article about TikTok Ads review.

Before you make a decision

There are two things you should consider before starting your music promotion which is a foundation stage to run your campaign effectively: 

1. Who is your target audience? 

In this digital world, everyone can listen to your music and suddenly become a fan. But not everyone can be Lil Nas X or Billie Eilish, as blowing up organically is a one-in-a-million thing. Hence, the question you need to ask yourself is how to stand out and capture their ears at first beat among thousands of artists. 

A solution is to target the right audience with the same music taste. With that being done,you have a higher chance of converting them to be your loyal fans. Also, knowing your target audience can help artists save time and effort to go closer to their goals, receive interest from the audience and easily retain followers for their social media. 

One of the crucial factors is the user's age. Pinpointing what age group you want to target will help you choose between TikTok Ads or Spotify Ads. 

Besides age, there are more factors when it comes to your target audience, read our blog about finding the right target audience Nevertheless, here's the age breakdown between the two platforms: 

The age group users of Spotify and Tiktok 

Spotify 

  • Ages 25-34 are 29%
  • Under 24 are 26%
  • Ages 55+ are 19%

*Spotify’s freemium subscription is highly popular among younger users – 71% of people using Spotify free accounts are under 35 years old. 

Tiktok 

  • Ages 10-19 are 25% 
  • Ages 20-29 are 22%
  • Ages 30-39 are 21%
  • Ages 40-49 are 20%
  • Age 55+ are 11%

 

2. Where are your career stages? 

It’s important to note that at every stage of your music path, you always have to continue on your music promotion to strengthen your position in the audience's mind. Different career stages of an artist will require different approaches to music marketing. Therefore, it is important for you to firstly define who you are, where you stand in the market to choose the right platform fit with your brand. 

We have explored this question deeply in the article about 5 tools for Spotify Promotion at every stage of your music career.  

To have better decision on which ad platform is better for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both social ads platform: 

Pros & Cons of Spotify Ads 

Pros of Spotify Ads

Target the right audience based on music taste

As we all hope, our song will be favorably received by listeners who enjoy our music style and genre. Therefore, when you advertise on Spotify, it allows the fan targeting feature that allows you to select your target groups based on the performers they are paying attention to. This means if your music genre is similar to Ariana Grande, her listeners will also receive your ad music. 

Promote music with uninterrupted ads experience 

If you just placed your ads on a website, your audience might feel as though they were being interrupted by the ads. As a result, Spotify can provide uninterrupted ads when you advertise your audio pieces with the people that are already listening to music. Your ads wouldn't pop up as an interruption because you're offering your audiences more music to listen to while they're already enjoying music. 

This feature could improve the promotion performance by targeting the group that is already in the process of listening to music - suggesting they might be more eager to explore new music compared to other ad platforms.

Cons of Spotify Ads 

More suitable for experienced artists 

Many Spotify Ads reviews show that it is much more suitable for experienced artists who already knew how to play this marketing game. To run an ad on Spotify, the artist has to already know who they are advertising to and which targeting will reach their audience. Nevertheless, it is not an easy story for the new artist when they will lose on finding their targeting listeners and other steps require prior digital marketing knowledge which is hard to achieve an expected result.

Pros & Cons Of Tik Tok Ads

Pros of Tik Tok Ads 

More chances for new artists due to the Music Discovery feature

Even if you don’t have a great following, you still have a chance to be seen by millions of people due to Tiktok’s algorithm called “FYP” (short for For You Page) based on the audience’s interest. In fact, numerous users gain a ridiculous amount of exposure for their branding and songs through their trendy music and dance challenge from purely organic content. 

Hence, it indicates a high chance for a similar result as the Tiktok Ads. If this is new information for you, don't hesitate and check out our article talking about the TikTok-to-Spotify pipeline.


If you want more exposure as an artist and get attention from the audience, Tiktok will be a better platform for you. 

Blended contents feature

Tiktok ads highlighted feature is the opportunity for your ad to blend into the organic content on the app. This is because the advertising content on Tiktok will have the same characteristics as users generated organic content (blended content), this will make the audience interact naturally and easily pay more attention to the ads. Hence, it creates a great opportunity for you to put your effort into generating blended ads that have the same ad format content as the organic one to receive high interaction from the audience. 

Cons of Tik Tok Ads

Invest on video production: 

Apart from those outstanding advantages of Tiktok, there is still one primary factor that makes lots of artists be stuck when they need to have a video material before going to promote on that platform. But the budget to produce a music video is never low which requires lots of investment and professional experience for a perfect product. Thus, although many artists are willing to spend on Tiktok Ads, they couldn’t access its ads strategy. 

However, a thing to note is besides MV, the artists can also have behind-the-scenes footage or simple animation for their song - it just takes time and money to do so in contrast to audio ads where you only need your song and a voice-over.

Conclusion

To be honest, the most effective music promotion is mixed marketing that runs ads on both platforms if you have an abundant budget to take you closer and faster to become a popular artist. However, it requires complicated marketing knowledge, and it is hard to keep track on two ad accounts

Understanding that struggle, at Base for Music, we simplify the process of running ads on multiple platforms through a single dashboard which analyses the best platform suit for your objective by optimizing sponsored campaigns on popular social platforms such as Spotify, Tik Tok, Facebook and Youtube. 

Sign up for your free account today!

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