New Spotify: more ads, native style

07 Dec, 2012

Ad Age reports that while “Spotify CEO Daniel Ek didn’t utter the word “advertising” once at his company’s New York media event on Thursday”, his Chief Advertising officer Jeff Levick did talk about the  potential that the new Spotify offers advertisers:

The new ‘Discover’ section

“surfaces content such as songs, playlists, and live-performance videos that Spotify users haven’t discovered yet but which they may like based on their past listening habits. The section is laid out in a visual-driven experience incorporating images and videos in a big-tile grid that has some traces of Pinterest.

“It’s another new canvas for us to look at the right way for brands to participate in the music experience,” Mr. Levick said in the interview.

[Levick] also believes the timing of the Spotify refresh — specifically the introduction of the “Discover” section — fits in nicely with the move in the digital-media industry to create new types of ad formats that rise above the banner ad.

Basically, that’s what the industry describes as ‘native ads’, of the kind that publishers too are using more and more. Native ads are sometimes produced for or with brands, but I’m seeing more and more brands that just sponsor stories that are unrelated, or merely industry related rather than company or brand related. I guess these music ads would fall in the unrelated category.

To date, Spotify offered two kinds of advertising:

  • audio and display ads to users that don’t pay for a premium subscription
  • Spotify apps for brands (McDonalds an Reebok among them) who can use the apps to serve ads

Spotify would be looking to increase it’s revenue, as it is still not profitable (it was reported last year to be “almost profitable in Europe“). Rivalling music service Deezer, on the other hand, has been profitable from very early on, as Deezer VC Guillaume Lautour pointed out on Whiteboard last month.

Spotify: one million subscribers in the US

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek also said that it now had more than 1 million paying subscribers in the US – remarking that it took others (namely: Rhapsody) a decade to reach that target. Worldwide, Spotify has 5 million subscribers, on a total of 20 million active users (that seems like a huge conversion rate).

via In Spotify Refresh, a New Canvas for Advertisers | Digital – Advertising Age.

Photo: Spotify native beard, by Jooon

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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