How Spotify is strategising to significantly increase its advertiser footprint
Easy access to the internet and smartphones, podcast listening has dramatically increased in India in recent years. According to a PwC report, India is considered the third-largest podcast listening market globally, after the US and China.
To acknowledge this, audio streaming platform Spotify has continued its investment in the advertising business and recently announced the launch of Spotify Audience Network in India. The audio-first advertising marketplace aims to introduce scaled, audience-based podcast buying to brands in India, providing a unique opportunity for podcast publishers and creators to effectively monetise their content.
Delving deeper into the newly launched Spotify Audience Network, Brad Grealy, Head of Ad Sales, JAPAC, Spotify, explained, “There are three pieces to the podcast: creators, listeners, and advertisers. In India, there hasn’t been a scalable way for marketers to participate in podcast content or advertise their products or services. The Spotify Audience Network acts as a connective tissue between these three components, connecting brands with creators while fans listen to their favourite content.”
Grealy emphasised that from an advertising perspective, podcasting is a relatively new expertise for marketers, who have shown keen interest in its highly engaging nature. He added, “However, in some cases, they have struggled to navigate the realm of podcast advertising. Our role is to simplify this process, offering assistance in developing creative content that seamlessly fits the podcast medium. We guide marketers on how to effectively target audiences and assess the impact of their campaigns within the podcast advertising space. Essentially, we aim to reduce the barrier of entry and provide a scalable solution for advertisers looking to promote across a diverse range of podcast content.”
Regarding the opportunities that the Spotify Audience Network brings for podcast creators in India in terms of monetising their content, Grealy stated, “Spotify’s mission statement is to help millions of creators make a living off their work. In order to achieve this goal, the company focuses on creating tools that better serve both creators and their audiences. This includes features such as posting and distributing content on Spotify or off Spotify, as well as leveraging Spotify’s advertising analytics to understand and measure the impact of advertising within your content. So, it makes the podcast content even more attractive to advertisers by participating in the Spotify Alliance Network.”
Adding to this, Dhruvank Vaidya, Head of Podcasts, Spotify, explained, “Spotify Audience Network brings very large-scale advertising. A lot of large media groups have podcast networks, and while they continue to sell ads on their networks, they may not be able to sell their entire inventory. Spotify Audience Network helps to sell that residual inventory, providing an incremental source of revenue. As more revenue comes into the podcast ecosystem, creators and networks make more money, enabling them to invest more back into content, leading to an enhanced audience experience.”
Vaidya further highlighted the significant growth of the podcast industry in India, with the influx of new creators, especially business leaders and CEOs, creating podcasts in various Indian languages. He mentioned the widespread use of creator tools like Spotify for Podcasters, formerly known as Anchor, contributing to the diversity and expansion of podcast creation in the country.
Arjun Kolady, Head of Sales - India, Spotify, discussed the future expansion plans in India, noting that the company has been in India for almost five years and recently made significant investments in team growth, expanding almost 10x since last year. This expansion allows Spotify to cater to a broader range of advertisers with diverse needs across various verticals and regions, significantly increasing its overall advertiser footprint.
Kolady also highlighted ongoing product investments, with the Spotify Audience Network being one of them. He emphasised the company’s role as market leaders in the nascent field of audio advertising in India, expressing a commitment to educating and inspiring agencies and advertisers to fully comprehend the opportunities available. This involves guiding them on creating the right creative, measuring its impact, utilising it across objectives, executing innovative campaigns, and effectively working with content. The focus on educational efforts remains a priority for Spotify in the upcoming years to solidify India’s position in the global audio landscape.