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Spotify has expanded the Spotify Audience Network beyond the US, encouraged by early results from the advertising product and the effectiveness of targeting in the audio space.

Having been in the US since April, the audio marketplace has been made available in the UK, Australia and Canada. The Drum explores what this means for the audio company. 

What it means

It makes available listeners across ad-supported music and premium podcasts – including those hosted on Spotify-owned Megaphone and Anchor.

It’s a growing part of the business, with testing already under way to introduce the format on its self-serve ad platform Spotify Ad Studio, starting with Spotify Originals and Exclusives for US advertisers.

Spotify claims that nearly 60% of its US podcast advertiser base is advertising with the Spotify Audience Network. This includes Volkswagen and Saks.

It promises “a broad range of easy-to-use, audience-based targeting tools including demographic targeting, geographic targeting and even audience segment targeting”.

Due to its acquisitions in production, the ads can be baked into podcasts running on other platforms, via Spotify Studios, The Ringer, Gimlet, Parcast and “leading third-party podcast publishers like ViacomCBS and The Wall Street Journal”.

What advertisers need to know

Since the US launch, it has increased scale and reach by adding Megaphone content to the network. 

Kimberly Gardiner, senior vice-president of marketing at Volkswagen, said the “lack of audience targeting has largely restricted us from investing in the space”, and that this network is what made it make the leap. Targeting is hugely important in driving education and sales of its electric vehicles.

What publishers need to know

It claims that with the added targeting intelligence, Megaphone podcasts that joined saw greater monetization, with fill rates increase by more than 10% and CPMs increase by more than 40%. With more advertisers in the mix too, there are fewer issues with frequency capping.

Cathy Csukas, chief executive of AdLarge Media, said: “It is paramount to us that the advertising in our podcast networks complements the content, providing an optimal listening journey and user experience while also generating revenue. The Spotify Audience Network has truly been additive to our usual monetization efforts, helping to boost revenue across all our shows in our podcast ad sales network while serving quality ads at scale that maintain our podcast listening standard.”

Learn more about Spotify’s brief but bold push into podcasting here.