Spotify scraps original ad-supported strategy for new tactic

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 2 July 2018

Audio streaming platform Spotify has revealed a new strategy for its ad-supported free subscription service, for the first time allowing users to skip ads they aren't interested in.

Starting today, Spotify’s free users in Australia will receive an interactive video and audio ad experience, called Active Media, allowing them to choose whether they want to hear, see or skip an ad.

Under the new strategy, advertisers will only pay for completed listens/views.

Spotify ANZ head of sales Andrea Ingham says the opportunity for marketers to reach consumers in key "screenless moments" on the commute while exercising, or at home, has never been more 'tangible'.

“Active Media is a win-win for listeners and advertisers; listeners benefit from an improved experience, allowing them to choose which ads they want to engage with, and in turn, we can offer advertisers better cut through and ROI," she says.

"While Active Media certainly evolves our video products for today, it will redefine the audio format for tomorrow.”

The user will receive an ad break consisting of targeted audio and video and can then choose whether they want to hear, see, or skip it.

From there, Spotify will learn from each interaction, providing listeners with advertising more in-line with their interests.

Spotify’s streaming intelligence will be fueled by each engagement, with ad personalisation soon matching the personalisation capabilities of some of Spotify’s playlists, like Discover Weekly, Daily Mix, and Your Time Capsule.

The decision follows research which revealed that screenless listening, globally, continues to grow at a fast pace, with multi-device listeners spending 2.5 plus hours streaming on Spotify.

This company stated the move was "especially important", given users’ ongoing shift away from screen time.

As part of the Active Media launch, Spotify is also launching “Be Heard," a program which challenges Australia’s top creative agencies.

Partnering with Cummins&Partners Sydney, Ogilvy Melbourne and Isobar Sydney, for clients Pernod Ricard, AAMI Insurance, and PayPal, respectively, Spotify and the agencies we will "reimagine what an audio ad could be" creating new concepts for audio advertising.

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