Audio streaming platform Spotify has announced its largest-ever European ad deal.
The €15m deal is set to begin this month and will run until the end of the year.
In partnership with Omnicom Media Group (OMG), clients of its agencies will be aligned with podcast content through the use of Spotify’s proprietary podcast advertising tools. The clients will also have advanced access to new podcast ad formats and – crucially for all players – some original and exclusive content.
Spotify’s investment in exclusive podcasts is behind its rise to the top table of podcast advertising. Despite repeated controversies around some of its most hyped exclusives – with The Joe Rogan Experience being a lightning rod for criticism – the platform remains among the most popular for podcast listening.
To that end, the platform has been investing heavily in tools that help prove the efficacy of podcast advertising. Last year it bought both Chartable and Podsights, companies whose analytics and targeting tools enhance its ability to do audio advertising effectively. As a result of the deal, OMG will have early access to Spotify’s recently-acquired podcast ad measurement service, Podsights, once it launches in Europe.
“Advertisers are increasingly directing more of their media spend to podcasts as listenership grows and creators of all sizes embrace this uniquely intimate medium,” said Rak Patel, head of EMEA ad sales at Spotify. “We’re pleased that OMG has entrusted us to help them and their clients to realize the full value of podcast advertising. Our hope is that this deal leads to more innovation and growth in this space across Europe.”
This comes as podcast listening across Europe has surged. According to eMarketer, around 70 million people across the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy listened to podcasts in 2021. In line with that growth, the podcast advertising world has matured, with a move away from lo-fi host-read ads to programmatically-inserted creative. As was shared at Spotify’s second Investor Day, the company expects ad revenue to eventually reach “significantly more than €10bn annually.”
The deal will also see OMG’s clients gain access to specific neuro research for “audio ads, the role of podcasts to drive audience attention and engagement, and more.”
The deal will also throw fuel on the fire of the extent to which individual companies such as Spotify can control the podcasting ecosystem; discussions about whether audio not delivered via RSS can be considered ‘true podcasts’ are ongoing. What is clear is that the investment in tools that attract advertisers to podcast advertising is far from over – and that Spotify is making a concerted effort to own the space.