Spotify Premium subscriber benefits don’t apply to podcasts

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Chris Smith

One of Spotify Premium’s key propositions is the ability to listen to unlimited music without commercial interruption. However, if you’re expecting this to be carried over to the company’s podcast offering, you’re out of luck.

Spotify is now bringing its proprietary ad insertion technology to podcasts airing via the streaming service in the UK, just over a year after it landed in the US.

Ads for BT Sport were among the first podcasts ads to air in the UK, within the now-Spotify-exclusive The Joe Rogan Experience. However, listeners heard these ads whether they’re free or Premium subscribers. That means Spotify is earning money twice from Premium listeners of the JRE.

Spotify told The Independent that advertisements are “an integral part of the podcasting industry” and looked to create a distinction between the best music streaming services and the more-radio-like podcasts.

The company said in a statement: “All Spotify users receive an on-demand podcast listening experience that may include ads or sponsorships. Spotify Premium offers users an ad-free music listening experience. However, Spotify offers all listeners the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward through any part of a podcast episode, including advertisements.”

Spotify’s expansion into podcasts comes as it seeks to diversify its offerings. The company’s Streaming Ad Insertion technology uses real-time commercial insertions and provide podcasters and advertisers with much more specific analytical data.

Relevant parties receive anonymised audience information on the age, gender, the device they’re listening on and their listening habits. It also provides information on ad impressions, reach and frequency, which provide the “precision and transparency of modern-day digital marketing.” Yay! More targeted advertising.

“The popularity of podcasts is rising exponentially in the UK and as a relatively untapped medium for advertisers they offer so much potential for brands to reach diverse audiences in new and engaging ways,” said Rak Patel, the top UK sales bod at Spotify (via Mobile Marketing).

“Unlike some digital media channels, podcasts are intimate, they are trusted, they reach people in a very direct and personal way. With Spotify Podcast Ads we aim to take podcast advertising to the next level, offering brands unique insights into their audiences and creative solutions that can truly capture consumer attention. We’re really excited about what’s to come.”

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