26th February 2021

POV: Spotify Audience Network


Spotify has announced that it is working on a new audio advertising marketplace called the Spotify Audience Network. The news was revealed at its ‘Stream On’ event this week, where the company also announced a number of further advertising options and updates.

Details and Implications:

The Spotify Audience Network will give advertisers the opportunity to buy ads across Spotify’s Original and Exclusive podcasts, podcasts created via Megaphone and Anchor (both owned by Spotify) and its ad-support music all in one place. It is expected to also expand to third-party podcasts in the future.

There are not many details on how the Spotify Audience Network will work as yet and Spotify itself says it is in the ‘early stages’ of development but it is expected to open up Spotify’s large podcast audience to a wide range of advertisers. Spotify has called the move ‘game changing’ in press reports as it will give advertisers the ability to reach and target audiences at scale both on and off Spotify. The network will also allow a wider range of creators to make money from their content.

Spotify also announced that it is adding capabilities to its existing Stream Ad Insertion (SAI) product that launched in January 2020. The SAI tool now has audience-based buying, native ad placements and reporting on creative performance in podcasts and will be available to all podcasts hosted on Megaphone and Anchor. SAI is currently available in the US, Canada, Germany and the UK and will expand to more markets later this year.

Furthermore, Spotify Ad Studio Spotify’s self-serve ad platform, which launched in 2017, is testing self-service podcast ad buying in an attempt to get more small business advertisers on its platform. It currently allows advertisers to reach Spotify music listeners and the podcast offering is in a beta testing phase in the US, starting with Spotify Originals and Exclusives.

As it expands its offering and options for advertisers, Spotify is also adding to its content library with multiple partnerships and podcasts with including with former US president Barack Obama and musician Bruce Springsteen.


Spotify has been a big player in the podcast market and boasts a number of popular Original and Exclusive podcasts. These announcements will open up a large amount of content to advertisers and will potentially attract even more creators to use Spotify’s own creation tools in order to monetise their content. 

With the launch of platforms such as Clubhouse – a sort of YouTube for live audio podcasts that is currently seeing a surge in participation - Spotify is looking at ways that it can solidify its position in the podcast market and increasing the monetization of content on its platform is an important step towards that.

Further Reading

Campaign | TechCrunch | The Drum | AdWeek

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