Is it worthwhile to advertise on Pandora or Spotify?

Pandora, Spotify and other music services are the wave of the future for music listening. MP3 purchases and CDs are way down in sales, as the public at large moves toward services that will stream their favorite music for a low monthly fee. It doesn’t matter for many that you don’t own the tracks, if you can access a radio station that plays them frequently (in Pandora’s case), or has access to any songs at any time (in Spotify’s case).

As of this article’s publication, Pandora boasts 76.5 million users and Spotify 60 million users. The massive popularity of both music services, and the fact that the large majority of users opt for the free, ad-driven version of the service, means that advertising there can make a lot of sense. Let’s look at what’s involved in an audio ad and whether it’s worthwhile to advertise this way.

  1. Professional Recording
    Unlike a text or graphical ad, the ads on Pandora and Spotify are audio. In some cases, there’s a graphical popup element for the phone app, so there may yet be some text / graphic design element to the ad. For the most part, it’s audio. This is something you’re not going to want to have someone in the office record on their iPhone.A good audio ad is professionally recorded in a sound studio by a trained voice actor, is attention-grabbing and witty, doesn’t apologize for interrupting the music, and gets to the point early in the time alloted.
  2. The Ad Script
    You’re going to want to write a dialogue script and read it aloud to make sure it sounds natural. Like with any other ad, be sure there’s a call to action, such as a coupon code or an easy-to-remember URL. Again, if there’s a graphical pop-up ad in the music app’s user interface that the user can click on, be sure to integrate these well in the planning and scripting process.
  3. Ad Rates
    Both Spotify and Pandora have ad rates that are not public until you get in touch with them, likely because they fluctuate often due to the surging popularity of streaming music services. However, both ad departments are easy to get in touch with with ad rates, specifications, ad standards, minimum buys and so on. It’s going to be somewhat pricey — especially compared to a typical social media ad on another platform.
  4. Not Just Audio
    Pandora has dozens of different ad configurations that stretch beyond audio ads, to animated overlays to banners to custom mixtapes. Agencies that really like to think outside the box will find a lot to play with here.Spotify also has just introduced video ads to go along with their traditional audio ads, and these join their many other ad formats, such as watching a video to get 30 minutes of ad-free listening, display ads and even homepage takeover ads.
  5. Should I?
    Advertising on a music service is a way to reach a connected, music-loving audience in a hyper-focused way that might not be possible on another platform. That bears repeating: Listeners on Spotify and Pandora are music fans first, so if your product makes sense to that kind of person, then give it a try.

To explore out-of-the-box thinking with advertising your product or service, contact StrataBlue today.