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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