Spotify expands Discover Weekly sponsorship to EMEA countries

In early 2019 Spotify opened up its flagship algo-personalised playlist, Discover Weekly, to brand sponsorships. However, so far the option for advertisers to sponsor the playlist has only been tested in North America and Latin America, as well as the UK. Now it’s crossing the seas to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nine countries, […]

Google launches tools for audio ads on Spotify and Pandora

Is there more money to be squeezed out of the ad-supported music market? Google hopes so. But for once, we’re not talking about YouTube in this context. Google’s advertising business is also putting some more effort into ad-supported music, with the launch of some audio-focused tools in its Google Ad Manager service, and an audio […]

IAB report quantifies Covid-19 hit to US podcast ad revenues

Advertising industry body the IAB has published its latest figures on the podcast ads market in the US. “With an expected growth rate of 14.7%, US podcast advertising revenues are nearing the $1bn mark,” it claimed. Are they really, though? The report doesn’t actually give a figure for its 2020 revenue prediction, but it does […]

Spotify snags $20m podcast advertising deal with Omnicom

Podcasts have sent Spotify’s valuation soaring in recent weeks, but they’re also starting to generate income for the company. Yesterday, it announced a ‘strategic podcast advertising partnership’ with advertising giant Omnicom Media Group, which sees the latter committing a $20m spend for the remainder of 2020. Note, this is a drop in the ocean of […]

More than 400 brands are boycotting Facebook ads this month

We wrote last month about the launch of a ‘Stop Hate for Profit‘ campaign encouraging brands to pause their advertising on Facebook and Instagram, in protest at Facebook’s policies around hate speech and groups. The boycott kicked off yesterday (1 July) with Reuters reporting that more than 400 brands are taking part, despite “last-ditch” meetings with Facebook executives who […]

Spotify steps up podcast monetisation with in-app offers

Spotify is trying something new around podcast advertising: ‘in-app offers’. It means that when someone’s listening to a podcast and hears an ad from a sponsor with a particular offer, they’ll also be able to tap on a link to redeem that offer from within the podcast’s episode page in Spotify’s mobile app. “Most podcast […]

Instagram to share revenue with creators with badges and ads

In April this year, we reported on the acknowledgment by a couple of Instagram executives that they had plans afoot to help creators (musicians included) to make money from their livestreams on the platform. Yesterday, Instagram made its first announcement on that score. “To give fans another way to participate and show their love, we’re introducing badges that […]

YouTube Select aims to boost YouTube’s advertising revenue

A blunt truth underpinning the ‘value gap’ debate: if YouTube is going to pay music rightsholders more royalties, one of the best ways will be by increasing its advertising revenues. Which, as we reported earlier this year when parent company Alphabet started disclosing them, have grown from $8.15bn in 2017 to $11.16bn in 2018, then $15.15bn […]

Canadian firm VoxTonePro files lawsuit over Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify is facing another lawsuit, although this one isn’t focusing on licensing or royalties. Instead, a Canadian company called VoxTonePro is accusing the streaming service of stealing its trade secrets, and using them to build its Spotify Ad Studio – that’s the tool that brands and businesses can use to create their own audio ads to […]

Alphabet’s Q1 included ‘significant slowdown in ad revenues’

It should come as no surprise that Covid-19 is figuring prominently in the Q1 financial results of every public company. Alphabet announced its figures yesterday, and warned that although its revenues were up 13% to $41.2bn in the first quarter of 2020, in March it saw a “significant slowdown in ad revenues”. YouTube is part of […]

Spotify rolls its podcast ad-insertion tech out in Germany

In January, we reported on Spotify’s announcement in the US of its ‘Streaming Ad Insertion’ [SAI] technology: a system to boost advertising within its original and exclusive shows by giving brands and podcast makers alike more data on listeners and ad performance. Now SAI is rolling out elsewhere in the world, starting in Germany. The location is no […]

More data emerges on Covid-19 impact on YouTube ad rates

In terms of traffic, YouTube is getting an almighty battering at the moment, with people working from home (and just as importantly, children’s schools closed). But we’ve reported already on talk of the advertising rates on YouTube falling, as brands pause or pull their advertising budgets as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now there’s some more […]

Covid-19 advertising slump is hitting YouTube channels

In terms of viewing, YouTube is thought to be having a big moment amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But are its advertising revenues also climbing? A story on Medium’s OneZero suggests that there may be something to worry about on that front. “YouTubers say that the rates companies pay to advertise on their videos are dropping significantly. That […]

Analyst predicts big hit to Facebook and Google ad revenues

We’re trying to report on all the positive news amid the coronavirus pandemic, but we can’t ignore the bad news. For example, the likely impact on digital advertising spending, with the giants of that space – Google and Facebook – likely to take the biggest hits. “The two internet giants together could see more than $44 billion […]

Digital Marketing Manager – Cooking Vinyl – London

Overview of Role  We are seeking an individual to handle digital marketing and advertising initiatives for a portion of our roster on a permanent contract. The position will work closely with Project Management, International and our distributor to develop comprehensive marketing plans and timelines. The individual will be digital savvy, abreast of new online services, […]

Fortnite boss sees ‘free stuff in games’ as future of ads

It’s a bit reductive to call Tim Sweeney just the ‘Fortnite boss’ – his company Epic Games has a big business outside that game too, from the Unreal Engine development platform to game series like Gears of War and (via acquisition) Rocket League. But it’s Fortnite’s success that has reinforced Sweeney’s stature within the games industry, […]

Google’s Chrome browser to block ‘intrusive’ ads around videos

Google’s Chrome browser will soon stop showing videos that include certain kinds of ads, and the policy will affect YouTube as well as other websites. The changes are outlined in a blog post from Google describing “three ad experiences that people find to be particularly disruptive on video content that is less than 8 minutes long”. They […]

TikTok may launch ‘curated feed’ to boost ad revenues

One of many mysteries of this algorithm-driven age is how TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed works, in terms of the videos it recommends to users of its app. However, a report in the Financial Times this morning suggests that TikTok may be considering adding something a bit more… curated to its offering. The newspaper describes it as “a […]

Gaana now has 125m monthly active users – and a new voice-ads partnership

Gaana is the latest music-streaming service exploring the potential of interactive voice ads, following announcements earlier this year from Spotify and Pandora. The Indian service is working with the same partner as the latter: Instreamatic, which has tech for ads that people can talk back to. “With this partnership, Gaana listeners will engage with voice ads that […]

Pandora launches its test of interactive voice adverts

Earlier this year, Pandora announced a deal to test ‘interactive voice advertising’ through a partnership with a company called Instreamatic. At the time, the tests were slated to begin later in 2019. Well, now they’ve begun. TechCrunch has the details of the ads, which will ask listeners if they want more information about whatever product or service is […]

Spotify advises $5k minimum spend for its new ‘marquee’ ads

In October, Spotify announced that it would be testing sponsorship of its full-screen ‘marquee’ album recommendations, allowing artist teams in the US to buy these spots – but only for people who’d already listened to their artist. What Spotify didn’t say at the time was how much this would cost. Enter Rolling Stone, which has got its hands […]

Tools. Toneden: Automated Social Marketing

With a multitude of music marketing tools available to artist teams, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which ones to prioritise, especially when most of them are eating into your monthly budget.  It’s therefore great to see how ToneDen has been further developing its offering since we last covered the platform in 2017, adding […]

eMarketer: France/Germany Facebook flight is ‘faster than expected’

Journalists, analysts and research companies have been warning about a ‘Facebook flight’ – people migrating away from the social network – for years now, yet overall, the company’s user base has continued to grow. eMarketer has some new predictions out this morning though, focused on two markets – France and Germany – where it says the migration is real, and “even […]

FTC launches new guide to influencer-marketing disclosures

A number of social-media influencers have been reprimanded by regulators about not offering clear-enough disclosures about their commercial relationships. Now the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a guide – ‘Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers‘ – which aims to keep them on the right side of advertising regulations there. It’s a plain-language summary […]

Sandbox Issue 239: Music and Advertising’s tense union

Lead: The old rules of advertising are long gone – as is a lot of the inherent guesswork around advertising’s effectiveness. In its place has come greater tracking of ad spend and ad impact, but the entire process itself has become much more convoluted. We speak to those working in this rapidly changing world to […]

US digital audio advertising grew by 30% in first half of 2019

Advertising-industry body the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has published its mid-year report on digital ad revenues in the US. The big figure is $57.9bn: that’s how much money was spent on digital advertising in the US in the first half of 2019. That’s 17% growth year-on-year, and the highest ever first-half total for this category. Trebles all […]

Pandora and TikTok ads found on video-piracy service TeaTV

There is no suggestion that Pandora or TikTok are knowingly funding a TV-piracy service called TeaTV. But ads for these and other legitimate digital services have been found within that website, in an investigation published by CNBC. “The online service offers a wide swath of pirated movies from major networks such as HBO and streaming services […]

TikTok explains why it won’t allow political advertising

Next year’s US presidential election promises to be a bumper pay-day for ad-supported digital services of all kinds, music included. Certainly Pandora and Spotify will be angling for the audio budgets of the candidates and the activist groups supporting them in the US. TikTok? Not so much. Well, not at all, in fact. “We have […]

‘Juicing’ YouTube views with ads isn’t just an India thing

Sony Music artist Badshah came under the spotlight recently when his label claimed he’d broken YouTube’s first-day-views record; YouTube pointedly didn’t confirm it (and still hasn’t); and then debate ensued about the strategy of buying Google ads to boost a video’s view-count on YouTube. As Times Music COO Mandar Thakur crisply put it in a panel at […]

Spotify subsidiaries launch new business and horoscopes podcasts

The production lines are rolling for Spotify’s recently-acquired podcast studios, Gimlet and Parcast. Yesterday each had a brand new podcast to announce. Gimlet’s is called ‘The Journal’, and is a partnership with the Wall Street Journal for a daily show about “money, business and power”. That daily cycle could be important: it’ll generate useful content that […]

Report: TikTok is testing a native audience network for ads

If TikTok is going to pay sizeable royalties to music rightsholders at some point, it’s going to need sizeable revenues, with advertising likely to loom large. So, AdWeek’s report on the company’s plans should make interesting reading for the music industry. “A trove of newly discovered developer documents reveal the platform has rolled out a native audience […]

Spotify beefs up its advertising-targeting features

Spotify’s advertising revenues grew by 34% to €165m in the second quarter of this year, and while that’s less than 10% of the company’s overall turnover, ads and the free tier ‘funnel’ continue to be of high strategic importance for Spotify. Hence its continued investment in new features, including the launch yesterday of ‘Interest Targeting […]

Amazon invites brands to test audio ads in free music service

Amazon launched its ad-supported music-streaming tier in April, initially in the US, but details of its plans for that advertising haven’t been talked about much. Now Advertising Age has bagged a copy of Amazon’s pitch deck to brands, and says that the likes of Colgate, L’Oréal and Lululemon are among those invited to test ‘audio ads’ […]

Pandora rolls its voice assistant out to all mobile users

Pandora unveiled its own Alexa-style voice assistant in January this year, working with tech partner SoundHound to launch a ‘Hey Pandora’ voice-control feature in its mobile app. Six months later, the feature is now rolling out to all of Pandora’s mobile users on iOS and Android, whether they’re on the free or subscription tiers of the service. The feature […]

Spotify criticised for ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Paying’ advert

Spotify’s latest ad campaign, highlighting the 30-day free trial  of its premium tier, is generating some heat on Twitter. “Dance like nobody’s paying,” is the main slogan. Musician and artist-rights campaigner Blake Morgan was quick to voice his unhappiness with the concept. “Here’s @Spotify’s new tone-deaf ad campaign. Keep in mind that it takes 380,000 […]

Guggenheim analysts hail Spotify’s push into podcasts

Spotify’s big podcasts push is eliciting mixed feelings within the music industry, as our recent survey showed: some people worry that it will draw attention (and revenues) away from music, while others think it will help Spotify grow as a platform and thus grow for its music partners. Analysts, meanwhile, are welcoming the development. Business […]

Spotify will now help advertisers target podcast listeners

Spotify’s latest feature for brands advertising on its service is ‘podcast listener targeting’. It launched in 10 countries on Friday: the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. “With this feature, enterprise brand marketers will be able to reach Spotify Free users who have listened to podcasts on Spotify, verified by […]

Pandora now has its own ‘audio consultancy’ for advertisers

Streaming service Pandora wants brands to make better, more effective ads for its platform. It’s latest move to help them do that is the creation of an in-house ‘audio consultancy’ called Studio Resonate. It’ll work with advertisers on “audio creative development, sonic branding and strategy services, as well as visual design, rich media production, web / […]

The ‘impermanent social internet’ may be our online future

Looking for a spicy hot-take of the day that doesn’t involve Game of Thrones? Try this one from journalist Mike Isaac. “The permanent social internet is dying. The impermanent social internet will need to replace it. And it will be even more difficult to make money on such an internet than it was before.” That’s the […]

YouTube unveils ‘Bumper Machine’ tool to create six-second ads

YouTube has launched a couple of new ways to advertise on its platform, which may be of use for artists or smaller labels who are lacking the time and resources for creating and editing video ads. One of them is called Bumper Machine, and it’s a tool for creating the six-second ‘bumper ads’ that YouTube says […]

Facebook warns that its new privacy tool ‘may impact targeting’

From unintended consequences of its core features to deliberate abuses of the way it made users’ data available to developers, Facebook is firefighting on several fronts in 2019. It should come as no surprise that its attempts to pivot to what CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls a “privacy-focused social platform” are going to have an effect […]

Senior Digital Marketing Manager – Warner Bros. Records – London

With its broad and diverse roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, East West, Elektra, FFRR, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Rhino, Roadrunner, Sire, Warner Bros., Warner Classics and Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world’s […]

Google will offer users greater privacy and restrict cookie usage

There are flashpoint moments like Cambridge Analytica or major data breaches, but privacy concerns remain a low rumbling noise in the background for most people using online platforms and connected devices. At Google’s I/O conference this week, the company took steps to address this. Well, a bit. It will apply stricter controls on tracking users. […]

Spotify is testing voice-enabled ads in the US

When we think about smart speakers and voice control, we tend to think about people controlling music. But there’s also potential for them to be interacting with advertisements too. Spotify has announced that it is testing ‘voice-enabled’ ads in the US for some of its free listeners. For now, the ads are for content on […]

YouTube programming gets interactive

Ben Relles has been named as the new head of innovation at YouTube, a role that will see the video platform move deeper into interactive programming and live specials. He was previously head of unscripted (i.e. reality/documentary etc.) content at YouTube. There was a huge buzz around interactive TV late last year when the Bandersnatch episode […]

Spotify Ad Studio adds advanced streaming conversion metrics

A new post on the Spotify for Artists blog outlines updates to the Spotify Ad Studio feature where clients will get access to a new set of streaming conversion metrics that can show how users on the service’s free tier respond to their audio ads. “How many people who heard your ad checked out your music on […]

Pandora will test interactive voice ads later this year

When we talk about what voice assistants and smart speakers mean for music, we tend to focus on interactions with the music itself: people asking Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to play certain tracks and artists, or other kinds of requests eliciting personalised streams of music. We don’t talk so much about how those music […]

Spotify to crack down on listeners using ad-blocking tools

Spotify’s latest update to its terms and conditions of use was published yesterday (7 February), and one of the new clauses is picking up some interest from tech-news sites. New to the list of forbidden activities for Spotify users: “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in […]

Spotify’s Ad Studio is its fastest-growing advertising channel

Spotify has been banging the drum this week for Spotify Ad Studio, its self-serve advertising platform that launched in September 2017, and is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The company now says it’s Spotify’s “fastest-growing advertising channel” (based on quarterly revenue and advertiser growth). “We’ve already seen success with a variety of […]

Spotify bars ads from right-wing organisation PragerU

Thought for the day: “Women want real men, men they can count on and yes, look up to. No amount of feminist theory will change that.” Or here’s another one: “Intersectionality is a form of identity politics, in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to.” And just […]

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