Spotify to offer mood-based ad targeting

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Brands now have a unique way of targeting the more than 60 million listeners using the music-streaming service Spotify: new ad targeting technology will recognize  the context of what a user is doing while listening to music in order to target her with tailored ads.

That means health brands looking to focus their attention on users who stay fit can buy ads in a workout playlist. Or coffee makers can look to engage customers that are early risers and listen to morning playlists during their commute.

The new playlist ad targeting will have 15 different categories that brands can choose from at launch. These categories include differing moods as well as activities that are most correlated to certain types of playlists.

While there is a subscription-based version of Spotify, 75 percent of its listeners use the free ad-supported version and this means a huge pool is available for brands to market from. Spotify also has 155 million premium subscribers. Of these millions of users, there is an almost endless potential of target audiences for companies. Major brands such as Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks as well as dozens of others have been using Spotify for advertising already with personalized campaigns that create special playlists for listeners.

To make this new ad-targeting technology available, Spotify has gone through its own internal data as well as other data after acquiring The Echo Nest, an analytics service aimed at the music industry. They uncovered a staggering 1.5 billion playlists that have been generated on Spotify both by the company itself and its many users and they have tapped into that data to see what kind of mood or what the user was doing while listening to playlist. From cooking to working out, there is a playlist for just about everything.

Spotify, according to Ad Age, has about 45 million users who use the free version of the app every day.

Playlists on Spotify curated by Spotify itself is nothing new, however. They have been building up a growing archive of playlists that are easily accessible through their mobile app and dashboard application. The playlists also change throughout the day, such as having calm and relaxing playlists show up during the evening or party and driving music during the weekend. Users can also auto-generate playlists based on their current mood when using plug-ins through Spotify.

Eight unnamed brands have been testing out this new ad targeting platform for the last 18 months. The new platform will be available on May 1 for all brands.


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Stephanie Medeiros

Stephanie Medeiros

Stephanie is currently a marketing manager and freelance writer specializing in technology trends, start-ups, and new business strategies that converge at creativity and technology.