- Spotify has linked with "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on a long-term, cross-promotional content partnership, according to details provided to Marketing Dive. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- DeGeneres announced the news on her show on Dec. 7, where she recapped some of her favorite musical performances of the year. Spotify will become a regular feature on the TV show with on-air integrations.
- The music streaming platform is creating a content hub for DeGeneres, who will curated themed playlists from her favorite artists, video clips and the "Ellen on the Go" podcast. The partnership marks the first time Spotify has worked with a partner on a content hub.
By teaming with DeGeneres, Spotify earns a powerful media partner as it aims to broaden appeal outside of its largely millennial user base. Fans of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," now in its 16th season, tend to skew older, Variety reports, but are loyal to the talk show host. Through the deal, Spotify can be put front-and-center for that audience with on-air integrations, one of the many ways marketers are looking to capitalize on TV eyeballs outside of traditional commercial spots.
At the same time, curated content offerings from DeGeneres could push some of that TV crowd — along with the 187 million followers of the Ellen Digital Network — to sign up for Spotify and drive revenue for its ad-supported model. Exclusive deals and celebrity tie-ups are one way Spotify can differentiate its service in a crowded audio streaming category that also includes Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal and others.
Given the popularity of streaming channels, marketers are only spending more on digital audio, with content types like podcasts proving particularly attractive. Spending on digital audio rose 31% year-over-year in the first half of 2018, reaching $935 million, according to the IAB. That puts the channel on pace to surpass the $1.8 billion in spending it commanded for all of 2017.
While Spotify has never worked with a partner on a curated content hub before, it has experimented with similar offerings for marketers. Smirnoff vodka earlier this year launched an equalizer API that brought gender equality to listeners' playlists and aimed to raise awareness about gender bias in music. The campaign drove 630 million impressions in six months, with 90% of them earned.
The Ellen news could be indicative of how Spotify is retooling its approach to marketing after some leadership shakeups. This fall, the company lost CMO Seth Farbman, who helped to architect popular campaigns like the out-of-home "Wrapped" effort, along with VP of brand creative Jackie Jantos.