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Case Study: Programmatic Audio Ads

January 15, 2020

Testing Spotify’s Self-Service Platform

As digital marketing continues to evolve, advertisers are beginning to turn their attention to the power of audio advertising, specifically programmatic audio. Always wanting to remain on the forefront of digital change, the team here at Digible decided to test one form of programmatic audio through Spotify’s self-service platform. 

Our main takeaway? Spotify self-service is pretty freakin’ great!

With a user-friendly UI, free audio production, and a low spend threshold, Spotify is the perfect option for lean-budgeted apartment marketers looking to give their brand awareness a boost. 


For years, audio advertising was rife with ridiculous spend minimums, lack of proper tracking, and the inability to produce cost-effective creative. Although some of these issues still exist, Spotify’s self-service platform is opening the door for advertisers of all sizes (and budgets) to grab a piece of the programmatic pie


Audio provides one of the most personal advertising experiences out there -- the music we listen to, the podcasts we learn from, and the genres we love are all unique to each user. We bump music in the car during our morning commutes, through our headphones as we workout, and even over our smart speakers while cooking dinner. 

This makes listenability one of the key drivers of success for Spotify. It also makes audio the only form of digital advertising that doesn’t require human attention via scrolling, clicking, or logging on to a social platform to see success. Unlike traditional display, audio advertising makes it possible to deliver impressions without the concerns of viewability, site safety, or bot traffic. 


With all of that in mind, we decided to test programmatic ads for ourselves.

Per the self-service guidelines, we started by writing a script (70 words or less), which we submitted to the platform. Spotify provided a voice over talent to record the spot free of charge. Next, we added branded background music, created a 1x1 companion ad, and -- voila! -- we were in business.  

To define our audience, we utilized geographic, age, and demographic targeting. Then we further narrowed our audience by choosing interest-based categories like podcasts, technology, and in-car listening. 


Over the course of one month, Spotify served 14.5k Fiona ads, reaching 10k users. Each user was served the ad an average of 1.5 times. Our CPC hovered slightly above $9.00, our CTR stunned at .19%, and our CPM was kept at a manageable price. 

Although these numbers may seem underwhelming when compared to a paid search campaign, keep in mind that Spotify is an upper-funnel awareness tactic at its core. So, when compared to traditional display advertising (a similar marketing strategy), Spotify metrics exceeded expectations and proved to be a healthy addition to our marketing mix. 

Here are a few additional data points gathered through Google Analytics:

  • Spotify ads resulted in a 76% lower bounce rate compared to all user traffic

  • Spotify ads resulted in a 32% increase in user traffic compared to months prior

  • Spotify ads resulted in a 30% increase in new users compared to months prior

  • Spotify ads resulted in a 16.5% increase in overall sessions 


Spotify has an easy to use platform, great production resources, and a decent amount of targeting capabilities. Although both the tracking and reporting have room for improvement, programmatic audio via Spotify is an incredible way to generate awareness while keeping cost under control. 

Just be sure to keep in mind that you’re not likely to increase calls or form fills from this specific marketing tactic. Such is the nature of audio advertising. But if you’re looking to boost overall site traffic and brand awareness in your specific geographic area, you just might want to tune into Spotify ads. 

If you’re interested in launching Spotify for your brand, or just have questions about programmatic audio, don’t hesitate to give us a shout!



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