Spotify Unveils 'Streaming Ad Insertion' Tech to Provide More Precise Metrics for Podcast Advertisers

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The logo of the music streaming service Spotify is displayed on a smartphone on April 20, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. 

Spotify just took another bold step toward becoming a major podcasting player.

On Wednesday (Jan. 8), the streaming giant announced the launch of Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), a new proprietary podcast ad technology that will power advertising for Spotify’s slate of original and exclusive podcasts. The technology will provide detailed metrics on actual ad impressions, listener frequency, reach and other audience insights (age, gender, device type, etc.) in an effort to provide greater accuracy and transparency for podcast advertisers on the platform.

“With this technology, we are offering the intimacy, quality and efficacy of traditional podcast ads with the precision and transparency of modern-day digital marketing,” said the company in a press release. “In short, we’re keeping what podcast listeners, creators, and advertisers love about podcast ads and making the medium addressable for digital advertisers.”

Spotify reveals that Puma was among the first advertisers to test Streaming Ad Insertion, with host-read Puma ads embedded in the Spotify Original podcast Jemele Hill Is Unbothered resulting in an ad recall lift of 180%.

Spotify notes that podcast consumption increased 39% on the platform between Q2 and Q3 last year; it additionally cited a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau study that projects podcast ad revenue will hit $1 billion by 2021.

The company has been aggressive in its podcast strategy over the past year. In February, it made a major splash when it acquired the podcasting network Gimlet and podcast-creation platform Anchor for a combined total of nearly $340 million. That was followed by a host of other moves in the space, including the testing of a “Create Podcast” button for users and reformatting its app design to place a greater emphasis on podcasts. In October, it began allowing users to integrate podcasts into playlists, while the following month it introduced the personalized playlist “Your Daily Podcasts,” an offshoot of its popular “Your Daily Drive” playlist.