In August 2018 Spotify allowed free users in Australia to skip unlimited adverts as a test, in an effort to collect data for a more “personalized experience” and better engagement for advertisers.
Later in the year, Spotify’s Global Head of Advertising Sales, Brian Benedik, told MBWthat this feature was appealing to advertisers because “serving [users] relevant ads that they want to hear or see is the holy grail of advertising”.
Skip to 2019 and Spotify is taking its advertising game to another level. The service is combining its personalisation expertise with commercial sponsorship, by starting to allow brands to sponsor the personalised Discover Weekly playlist (on the free service only).
The streaming platform has also teamed up with Microsoft as its beta launch partner.
According to Spotify, its Discover Weekly listeners stream music “more than double the amount of our users who don’t listen to the playlist”.
“The more personalized the content, the more engagement we see,” said Spotify in a statement today (January 7), adding: “This is just the type of context that marketers are looking to show up.”
Microsoft was chosen as the launch partner, according to Spotify, because it “sought liked minded brand partners to come onboard and lean into this experience with an open mind and out-of-the-box thinking”.
Spotify also cites Microsoft’s AI campaign Empowering Us All as being a “natural fit” as it explores the impact that AI will have across different sectors, from Education to Healthcare and Philanthropy.
“This campaign was a natural fit for the AI-built Discover Weekly playlist and Spotify’s deep connection to culture and community,” said Spotify.
“OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH A TECHNOLOGY INNOVATOR LIKE SPOTIFY OFFERED A WAY FOR US TO EFFECTIVELY SHARE THAT MESSAGE WITHIN A PERSONALIZED ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE POWERED BY AI.”
ERIN BEVINGTON, MICROSOFT
Erin Bevington, Microsoft’s General Manager of Global Media said: “At Microsoft we are focused on empowering every individual and organization to do more.
“Our work in AI is a central part of that mission to unlock human ingenuity.
“Our partnership with a technology innovator like Spotify offered a way for us to effectively share that message within a personalized entertainment experience powered by AI.”
“OUR NEW DISCOVER WEEKLY AD EXPERIENCE POSITIONS ADVERTISERS FOR SUCCESS AND ENSURES THAT OUR FANS ARE HEARING MESSAGES THAT EMBODY THE ETHOS OF DISCOVERY.”
DANIELLE LEE, SPOTIFY
Spotify’s Global Head of Partner solutions Danielle Lee added: “Personalization has quickly gone from a nice-to-have to an expected consumer experience that delights audiences and marketers are craving opportunities to be part of it.
“Our new Discover Weekly ad experience positions advertisers for success and ensures that our fans are hearing messages that embody the ethos of discovery.”
“THE MAGIC WITH THIS PARTNERSHIP IS WE WERE ABLE TO IDENTIFY A TECH PARTNER WITH A SHARED AMBITION TO UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY, IN THIS CASE MACHINE LEARNING, TO ENRICH OUR USER EXPERIENCE.”
CASEY WEINREICH, SPOTIFY
Spotify’s Head of Industry, Tech, Casey Weinreich said: “When people think of Spotify, they think about music all of the world’s songs, albums and their favorite playlists right at their fingertips.
“At the same time, Spotify is a technology company. The magic with this partnership is we were able to identify a tech partner with a shared ambition to utilize technology, in this case machine learning, to enrich our user experience.”