Spotify Ads Targeting Options

Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer… It seems like new music and podcast streaming services are everywhere.

In October 2020, Spotify reported that the platform has 320 million monthly users worldwide, with 144 million of those being paid monthly users. In June 2020, Spotify moved its Ad Studio out of beta and released the advertising option worldwide.

While you may think that Spotify doesn’t meet what you’re looking for in an advertising channel, the targeting opportunities might make you think again. Music-related ads are not the only options for promotion on Spotify.

Let’s hop into what Spotify Ad Studio offers to advertisers.

Spotify Promotion (Campaign) Objectives

It’s not just music-related campaigns on Spotify.

Here are the promotion (campaign) types that are available:

Non-music related: A brand, product or organizationMusic-related: An artist’s music, a concert or artist merch

Now that you know what objectives are available, let’s hop into the ad types.

Spotify Ad Types

Spotify offers 30-second audio or video ads that are seen and heard by the ad-supported Spotify app. These ads are served to Spotify Free users during breaks between songs on both desktop and mobile. Only one ad format can be selected for each ad set.

Audio Ads

For audio ads, if you have an existing audio ad, you can upload it directly to Ad Studio. You can also utilize free creative tools and services through Spotify if you need help to produce an audio ad.

In addition to the audio clip, you will also need a square, 640×640 pixel image that accompanies the audio portion. More information about specs for audio files, image information, etc., is listed on Spotify’s website.

Video Ads

These video ads are served on either mobile or desktop but only when the Spotify app is in view. According to Spotify, “your video message is served to listeners during commercial ad breaks, and includes a clickable companion image and the call-to-action of your choice.”

On desktops, a companion image is shown with your video image. On mobile devices, the companion issue will be displayed on the lock screen if a listener locks the device while the video is playing.

Video ads are not currently available in Australia and New Zealand as of the publication of this article.

Similar to the audio ads, the video ads can be up to 30 seconds. The files must include sound, as silent videos are not accepted.

Now that you know more about the ad types, let’s hop into targeting options. I bet there are more options than you would expect!

Spotify Ad Targeting


The platforms available are targeting are iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android, and desktop. Spotify recommends targeting all platforms unless the ad is platform-specific.

Demographic Targeting

Age, gender, location, and platform can be selected.

Location targeting leverages IP addresses to determine users eligible for targeting.

The following countries can be targeted in the following ways:

United States: Target by country, state, city, postal code, or DMA (A Designated Market Area region is a group of cities that form a broader metropolitan area. For example, the Los Angeles DMA includes the city of Los Angeles as well as the cities and counties that surround it.)United Kingdom: Target by country, city, postal codeCanada: Target by country, city, postal codeAustralia: Target by country, state, city, postal codeNew Zealand: Target by country, region, cityMexico: Target by country, region, city, postal codeSpain: Target by country, region, city, postal code

Advertisers outside of Australia are not able to target the country of Australia or its regions.

Interest Targeting

Interest targeting on Spotify Ad Studio is comprised of categories “informed by users’ recent streaming behavior, including their podcast, playlist and platform preferences.” Multiple interest categories can be used to expand the audience.

Here are the available interest categories:

Books: People who listen to books & literature podcastsBusiness: People who listen to business podcastsComedy: People who listen to comedy-related content (including albums and podcasts)Commuting: People who listen to commute-related playlistsCooking: People who listen to cooking-related playlistsCulture & Society: People who listen to culture & society podcastsDIY Hobbies & Crafts: People who listen to hobbies & crafts podcastsEducation: People who listen to education podcasts on SpotifyHealth & Lifestyle: People who listen to lifestyle & health podcastsHistory: People who listen to history podcastsFitness: People who listen to fitness-related playlists in categories such as workout, running, biking, and weightliftingGaming: People who listen to Spotify on gaming consoles or listening to gaming-related playlistsIn-car listening¹: People who listen to Spotify in the car (Ads are targeted to users who recently listened to Spotify in the car, but they aren’t served while users stream in the car)Love & Dating: People who listen to love, dating, & relationship podcastsNews: People who listen to news & politics podcastsParenting: People who listen to kids’ playlists, children’s music, and kids & family podcastsPartying: People who listen to party-related playlistsPodcasts²: People who listen to podcasts (Ads are targeted to users who recently listened to podcasts, but they aren’t served during podcasts)Running: People who listen to running-related playlistsScience & Medicine: People who listen to life sciences & medicine podcastsSports & Recreation: People who listen to sports, sports news, & recreation podcastsStudying or focusing: People who listen to study- or focus-related playlistsTech: People who listen to technology podcasts or stream via emerging platforms like smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming sticksTheater: People who listen to Broadway-related playlistsTravel: People who listen to travel-related playlistsTV & Film: People who listen to TV & film podcasts

Real-time Context Targeting

Real-time context targeting option “allows you to reach people who are listening to music tailored to specific activities, moments and moods.”

How does Spotify do this? It identifies user-created and Spotify-created playlists aligned with popular activities and moments. Targeted messages are delivered to users listening to these playlists. Multiple real-time contexts can be selected to expand an audience.

Available real-time contexts:


Genre Targeting

Genre targeting allows advertisers to deliver a message immediately after a user has listened to a song of a specific genre. Multiple genres can be used to expand audience sizes.

Available genres:

AlternativeBluesChristianClassicalCountryEasy ListeningEDMElectronicaFolkFunkHip HopHolidayHouseIndie RockJazzLatinMetalNew AgePopPunkReggaeRnBRockSoundtrackSpoken AudioTraditional

Fan Base Targeting

Fan targeting users Spotify’s proprietary streaming data to target known fans of an artist you’re promoting or fans of other artists.

To identify fans of an artist, Spotify analyzes recent listening behavior along with other identifiers like playlist adds and follows.

If you’re a music advertiser promoting an artist or event, you can target fans of your specific artist or fans of other artists.

More information for fan targeting is available on Spotify’s site.

A Few Things to Know About Spotify Ads

To get started in Ad Studio, you will need to commit to spending $250. For larger budgets, Spotify says there are custom programs and solutions. Pricing models are larger budgets depend on if you use Ad Studio, programmatic or working with an ads specialist.

Cost is per impression. When setting up your campaign, after you set a campaign budget, you can get an estimated cost per impression, estimated number of total impressions, estimated reach and estimated lifetime frequency (which is the number of times each user will be served your ad).

For example, I created a campaign with targeting 25-50 year olds in Florida who are interested in health & lifestyle, fitness, and running. The estimates for my campaign are below.

Creating campaigns in Spotify is very easy! With the tools available to help you create ads and reasonably priced campaigns, I definitely recommend giving this channel a shot!