Advertising on Spotify. Is it worth it?

I’ve had Spotify Premium for nearly 3 years now and can’t imagine life without it. Gone are the days of having to sync my iTunes or find innovative ways to source new music 😉.

I gladly pay the $11.99/month to get music streaming in all its glory.

However, Spotify also has a free version that has nearly all the same benefits as Premium – just with ads every 15 minutes.

With over 248 million active users, 135 million of those are still on the free version.

Now I do love Facebook/Instagram advertising due to its superior targeting features, BUT – with a high number of users on Spotify free version, I thought I’d check out how the numbers stack up when it comes to advertising ROI.

The client I ran this campaign for is in the health & wellness niche and here is how it went down.

Ad Targeting:

Compared to Facebook, the targeting options on Spotify are quite basic. You get to choose the location, gender, and device; though what is cool, is you can also have additional targeting based on the user’s interest in podcasts and music genres:

For this campaign, I decided to keep it broad and didn’t select any additional targeting.


When it comes to selecting a budget, the minimum amount you can choose is $250 and this amount is irrespective of yo

ur campaign duration – be it 1 week or 1 month.

What did peak my interest was that the cost per listen was only expected to be $0.02 and the audience reach was 10 – 12k.

That is insane reach!!

Imagine spending $50 and getting your ad delivered to 5000 people in your ideal target demographic?

Ad Creative:

Creating the ad is incredibly simple. All you have to do is choose a cover image, add a clickthrough URL and upload your audio file (less than 30 seconds). For this campaign, we used an old radio ad which was really handy.

However, if you don’t have a professional audio file created, you can upload your script and Spotify will get somebody to voice over the ad, free of charge. You can add instructions, language, voice profile and choose from a range of background music.

This make’s it very attractive for small businesses who may not have access to professional recording equipment, or too shy about their voice.

The results:

I ran the ad for 1 month and here are the stats:

The total number of ads served (or impressions) were 17,709.

Spotify gives users the option to skip ads though over 12, 000 listeners played the ad in full. Spotify also only charges you if an ad is played full.

The CTR isn’t that bad at 0.48%. With cold traffic, anything over 0.5% is acceptable.

The ads served did decrease as the campaign ran, though that is most likely to the ad being quite relevant and spending more of the budget at the start and then having to spread it out for the rest of the campaign.

You also get additional stats on gender, age, and platform.

So are Spotify ads worth it?

From a brand awareness point-of-view, having over 12, 000 users listen to our ad in full for only $0.02 is AMAZING value.

They had the option to skip, though chose not to.

What’s even better is that this Ad is targeted to our ideal demographic.

From a lead generation point-of-view, Spotify may not be as good as Facebook as it can be hard to track if the listener converted into a customer. Tracking conversions and the flexibility you get on Facebook is far superior.

The limited budgeting options does make it hard to test different audiences and ad creatives at the same time, though this simplicity may be why running ads on Spotify is attractive.

Overall, as more and more touchpoints are required these days before a user buys from a business, I’d happily recommend Spotify ads as part of an overall marketing strategy along with your other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Google, etc.

As the minimum ad spend is $250, this may eliminate some small businesses who simply may not have the budget, though if you do, go for it and test it out.

Spotify ads are quite new in Australia, launching only in 2018. The ad costs are dirt cheap and will only increase as more advertisers get on the platform.

One improvement that I’m hoping will happen is the ability to retarget listeners if they’ve visited your website or heard 1 of your ads. This will allow for deadly marketing funnels and the ability to cross-promote among multiple platforms.