Spotify, the Streaming generation is here

We notice a change in behaviour worldwide, from ‘ownership’ to ‘access’: with Airbnb you don’t have to own your own holiday villa, thanks to Netflix/Prime you no longer have to have a substantial DVD collection and you may even no longer need a car if you can take an Uber anywhere. “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, does not own a single vehicle. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, does not create content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no stock. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is going on.” – Tom Goodwin (2014)

Mobile as a catalyst for music consumption

The growth of streaming has completely changed access to music, as well as the way people around the world interact with music. As a result, by 2022, 221 million users are expected to be actively streaming music, which would represent a x5 growth in just 6 years. Streaming is emerging as the new mainstream, the catalyst for this growth being the increasing consumption via mobile devices. 60% of the world’s music streaming happens on mobile devices, giving brands the ability to connect with their target audience throughout the day, no matter where they are. In Belgium, music is listened to continuously for more than two hours a day.

Spotify as an advertising platform

Discovering new music is key to the great engagement we see from Spotify fans. They trust Spotify to discover the content they love. Research shows that discovering new experiences makes people feel good. Your mood gets a boost, you enjoy life more and this feeling also contributes to your personal growth.

Advertisers fancy Spotify as well, for four main reasons:

  • Engagement. Users highly engage with Spotify throughout the day.
  • Relevance. Spotify’s unique dataset enables brands to be contextually relevant, at the right times.
  • High-quality advertising environment.
  • Spotify provides an in-app environment for audio, video, and display ads with high viewability in a brand safe environment.
  • Impactful solutions.
  • Spotify has proven results for major brands. Reach and engaged audience.

Reach and engaged audience

The real-time, personalised insights go beyond demographics and device IDs. They reveal the moods, mindsets, tastes and behaviours of their audiences. Spotify found that the way people stream says a lot about who they are. As a result, their data team has identified five key streaming habits that can help understand the right audience. Throughout the day: at work or during training, from the car to the living room, on multiple devices, people stream Spotify as the soundtrack of their lives. More streaming moments mean more opportunities for brands to connect with their target audience at the right time, and in the right context.


You can look at Spotify in 2 ways: (1) as a tool to create incremental reach on top your classic campaigns or (2) as a digital platform that offers creative ways to get in touch with the right target group. This is how Spotify stands out. Spotify collects a lot of information – what we call ‘streaming intelligence’: unique, first-party data that is collected based on the streaming behavior of the users. It goes beyond socio-demographics data because streaming music is a very personal experience. This is how we gauge the audience:

  • Moods: how are they feeling?
  • Mindsets: What are they listening to?
  • Moments: When are they listening?

These insights can be used directly on the Spotify platform, thanks to a range of targeting solutions allowing to amplify campaigns.

High-quality advertising environment

Because the platform is designed to maximise viewability, Spotify offers a high-quality advertising environment. Furthermore, there is no ‘fold’: every screen or video ad is positioned visibly between music tracks, so the ad can’t go unnoticed. Additionally, video and display ads are only shown if the app is active on-screen. Regardless of the platform, the in-app experience almost eliminates the risk of fraud. Spotify also prides itself on providing a premium environment with fully legal contents that are fully approved by the partners or created by Spotify itself. Finally, Spotify applies the HAVOC benchmark (Human + Audible, Viewable On Completion), thanks to which they achieve a score twice as high on desktop and three times as high on mobile than the average benchmark score for the sector (measured by MOAT).

Impactful solutions


Reach your target audience where visual media can’t – from headphones and in-ears to inside the car. With the Audio Everywhere package, you can reach your target group on any device, in any environment, any time. Audio ads play between songs during active listening sessions. In addition to the audio spot, the advertiser also makes use of the clickable concomitant display unit (displayed in the Cover Art section) to expand the campaign and allow users to be immediately referred to the desired landing page of the campaign.


Video Take Over gives a brand access to a premium app experience where all ads are delivered to logged-in users while they are actively using the app, and videos appear in full view. This is the case when a new artist is chosen, or a playlist created. Sponsored Sessions allow advertisers to offer their target group the opportunity to listen to a 30-minute ad-free session in exchange for watching a video in full view. This works only when actively using the app. After watching the video ad, a clickable display ad appears – inviting the viewer to further engage with the brand – and the 30-minute ad-free session then begins.


Showcase your brand with ads designed for maximum viewability. Overlay units are shown when the user returns to the Spotify app, ensuring maximum brand impact. Those ads also allow users to be redirected to the brand’s URL destination. Another impactful ad format available on Spotify is the Homepage Take Over: it displays the brand message on the Spotify app homepage for 24 hours. The Homepage Take Over is clickable and supports rich media so brands can add interaction to drive more attention. Leaderboard Display units are also clickable and appear only if Spotify is the top app on screen.

Creativity trumps

The Spotify platform offers various creative options to bring your brand to your target group in a fun way.

The Streaming Intelligence understands the context. And if you know the context of the target audience, a creative message can reach a whole new level.

Snickers is a great example of a brand that has harnessed the power of Spotify’s Streaming Intelligence to bring creative messages into context. The ‘Hunger Spotter” campaign focused on their belief that “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry”. Spotify grouped listeners based on their favorite music from three unmistakable genres – Grime, Pop, and Rock – and tracked the streams outside of their usual ‘jams’. So, if a Grime fan took a break to listen to a Beethoven symphony, for example, the displayed ad could then target their deviant behaviour.

Pepsi Max: an example of 3D Audio

85% of Spotify users listen to music through their headphones. 3D Audio helps generate a special spatial effect that is best experienced through headphones or earphones. In the Pepsi Max example, you can hear someone storming into the store looking for a can of Pepsi Max to get a chance at winning tickets to Tomorrowland. As soon as he has found a can, the listener is completely sucked into the ambiance of the festival.

Put on headphones and relive the experience!

BMW & Tomorrowland: an example of Playlist Generator

Create a personalised playlist based on user and advertiser information. For BMW Belgium, we customised a Playlist Generator called ‘The road to Tomorrowland’, allowing Spotify users to get a custom playlist based on their travel time to the festival. In this way, the audience could enjoy the right ‘tracks’ on the road, regardless of the chosen means of transportation. We generate personalised playlists for users to enjoy on their way to the festival. The travel time is calculated based on the departure point and the chosen means of transportation, and the adapted playlist is created accordingly.

Spotify codes
Spotify Codes

To make a creative link between offline and online communication, an advertiser can use the Spotify Codes, which can be compared to QR codes. This brand-new way of communicating ensures that playlists, but also podcasts, are shared and discovered in a simple, yet interactive way.

Spotify Codes are ideal for users to share and discover their favourite music and/or podcast on Spotify. It really is as simple as taking a picture.

In this example, Delhaize has integrated Spotify Codes in their out-of-home and print campaigns to let parents with young children discover their podcast series ‘Max and the Magic Greens’.

Be sure to try it yourself and scan the Spotify Code on the ad displayed hereunder.

Our experts

Svooike Demunter

Svooike Demunter

Sales Product Specialist +32 472 22 30 54
Kristof Van Bellingen

Kristof Vanbellinghen

Client operations expert – Digital +32 2 889 56 09