Spotify Podcast Ads: New Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) Expands Inventory

Spotify announced yesterday at CES that they will be implementing Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) into their owned podcast content. We have been expecting Spotify to move to a dynamically inserted ad model because it increases advertising inventory for advertisers. Dynamic ad insertion also allows audio ads to be more targeted and relevant than the typical “baked-in” podcast advertisement. 

Spotify Podcast Ads Powered by Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI)
Spotify Podcast Ads Powered by Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI)

In February 2019, Spotify made headlines when they acquired Gimlet Media (podcast network) and Anchor (recording and publishing tools). They are furthering their commitment of podcasts to their business model with the means to better monetize the content they create. For any digital advertising agencies or brands looking to increase their investment on Spotify, or podcast advertising in general, dynamically inserted Spotify podcast ads present a lot of new opportunities.

Imagine listening to an old episode of one of your favorite podcasts and hearing an outdated advertisement for a festival that already happened. That message isn’t relevant to you anymore, in fact, it’s not relevant to anyone. That is a poor user experience for the podcast creator and it takes potential new revenue away from Spotify’s pocket. 

With SAI, ads that come before, during or after a podcast will now be inserted dynamically. What this means is the creators will curate the podcast to allow for 15-60 second pockets where an advertisement can show up. This structure enables advertisers to add/remove ads digitally. 

Whether you are listening to the most recent podcast or a few months back, you will hear a message that is more relevant to today. Better yet, this ability allows for advertisers to pick and choose who they reach based on demographics and listening behavior instead of hoping the podcast they bought is the right fit. Rather than paying a premium to reach everyone listening to a popular podcast, you will be able to pay to reach the specific sub-group of users you are going after. 

This concept of reaching “people not places” has been a key pillar in Gupta Media’s advertising approach since remarketing came about. You become more agile in who you target and avoid wasting money on low impact impressions which makes your advertising dollars go a lot further. Those looking for a way to get into buying on podcasts should take advantage of this new model and get involved in a newer form of media that will continue to grow dramatically in the coming years.