Spotify Is Ready to Compete for Video Advertising

Audio platform Spotify made its first appearance at NewFronts week on Wednesday evening, part of a larger bid from the streaming platform to attract to its growing inventory of digital .

While Spotify remains predominantly a music, podcast and audiobook service, it has seen a notable uptick in video inventory due to the rise of video podcasts and its increasing focus on music videos and clips, according to Ann Piper, head of North American sales.

“We're ready to play in the digital advertising pool and compete for more than audio budgets,” Piper said. “Now that there is more video being created on the platform, we want to connect brands with users when they are looking at their screen.”

If the NewFronts represent the blurring line between technology platforms and video publishers, the presence of Spotify reflects another novel twist.

Podcasts, once exclusively an aural experience, have increasingly embraced video as a way to boost discovery. By filming their interviews and sharing clips on video platforms, podcasters have unlocked a new, powerful vehicle for exposing their content to new audiences.

The hybrid product is quickly reshaping the podcast ecosystem, and Spotify hopes to capitalize on the transformation by touting this newfound video inventory to ad buyers.

The new offering will enable brands to integrate with Spotify's expanding slate of events.The rise of Spotify video

Video still makes up a small percentage of Spotify's overall content, but the format is growing quickly, according to Piper.

So far this year, podcasters have already uploaded more than 500,000 episodes of video podcasts to the platform. In total, Spotify has more than 2.5 million episodes.

Users are also spending more time consuming video on Spotify. In the second quarter, time spent with video content rose 48% year over year, according to the company.

Spotify also has video inventory associated with its music offerings. Thanks to partnerships like the one it struck last year with Roku, listeners playing Spotify on their connected televisions can be shown ads on the big screen.

The company also serves video ads to its 388 million free users during moments when they are looking at their phones.

Video takeover ads, for instance, can be delivered during a listening session when the user is actively browsing through the catalog to discover music and podcasts. Sponsored sessions serve listeners a video ad in exchange for a 30-minute ad-free listening session, while opt-in video ads are served to users in the Now Playing View when the app is in focus.

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