- Spotify, the music streaming service with 60 million paid subscribers, is testing a self-service audio advertising platform that lets small businesses create a radio spot for as little as $250, MediaPost reported. The Spotify Ad Studio provides step-by-step instructions to help radio amateurs create a “fully produced” ad with a professional voiceover in minutes.
- The self-service dashboard lets users set the audience target, the campaign's budget and track results. Spotify developed the pilot program with several test partners including the University of Denver's University College.
- Spotify has a website, adstudio.spotify.com, that lets potential advertisers get on a waitlist for the service. The company will send an email to marketers when they have been removed from the waitlist.
Spotify is following in the footsteps of other digital media companies that have developed self-service platforms to let almost anyone create and manage an ad campaign, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. A self-service dashboard reduces the need for social media companies to have a costly sales staff, while smaller advertisers are able to manage a targeted digital campaign on a limited budget.
Self-service ad platforms are a labor-saving device, but they can also create new headaches, as Facebook, Google and Twitter have discovered in coping with extremist content. Investigators at the non-profit ProPublica journalism organization this month said Facebook’s self-serve platform let them create an ad campaign targeted at “Jew haters.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg apologized for the situation and announced that Facebook would manually review all ad targeting options.
The news is the latest example of Spotify investigating creative ways to attract advertisers and drive subscriptions as competition in the music streaming space continues to heat up and the company struggles to make a profit even as it continues to add new users. The company is also facing a protracted legal battle over licensing fees and has suggested it is on the road to going public.
Other recent strategic moves by Spotify include a partnership with Hulu to drive subscriptions with college students. Spotify has also introduced scannable bar codes to boost music sharing and acquired AI startup Niland. The company's strategy for original programming continues to evolve with the recent hiring of a Disney executive to oversee the efforts.