Spotify wants ‘to do for radio what YouTube did for TV advertising’ as it aims to lure more advertisers to its platform

Spotify is not interested in competing with traditional radio for ad dollars, instead positioning itself as complementary to the market.


Research from the firm aims to show Spotify’s free ad-supported audience reach compared to commercial radio and the added scope it could provide to brands.

The TNS study, which surveyed more than 20,000 respondents in 10 European countries including the UK, shows that within the 15-34 age group Spotify has an incremental reach of between 14% and 21% for various commercial radio stations.

The study’s findings also reveal that people are more likely to pay attention while listening on Spotify than they do to commercial radio.

However Spotify UK’s director of sales David Cooper says the brand wants to position itself as an addition to radio instead of competing with commercial radio stations.

“What we’re looking to do is to grow radio’s overall share,” he told Marketing Week.

“For example, for YouTube video is a huge part of advertising. Rather than go in and try and take away money from the likes of Channel 4, they want to increase the overall share of money that’s invested in the medium. That’s really where we’re coming from.”

Traditional platforms like radio are still performing well when it comes to ad expenditure. Figures by the Advertising Association and Warc saw a strong growth in 2015’s first quarter, rising 8.2% to £122m.

However, growth is expected to slow, with ad spend forecast to rise 4.3% in 2015 and 4.8% in 2016.

A broad spectrum of brands have used Spotify’s services so far, including Jack Daniels, Sky, BT and the Government.

“The brands that do well fully engage with our platform and go beyond straight advertising. Jack Daniels has done various events with us that were very well rounded,” he explained.

“Brands that are our big audio spenders understand the power of going straight to people’s earphones.”