How Spotify is planning to boost its advertising footprint


With easy access via smartphones and the Internet, the popularity of podcast listening has drastically grown the number of podcast listeners in India recently. According to PwC research, India is considered the third largest market for listening to podcasts worldwide, following that of the US as well as China.

To show appreciation, the streaming audio platform Spotify continues to invest in advertising and recently announced the introduction of the Spotify Audience Network in India. The new marketplace for advertising that is based on audio will bring the concept of audience-based, scalable podcast purchasing to businesses in India, offering an opportunity for podcast creators and publishers to monetize their content efficiently.

Deeper into the newly introduced Spotify Audience Network, Brad Grealy, Director of Ad Sales, JAPAC, Spotify, explained, “There are three components of the podcast: listeners, creators and advertisers. In India there hasn’t been an efficient method for marketers to be involved in podcasts or to promote their services or products. Spotify’s Spotify Audience Network acts as an interconnector between these three parts and connects creators with brands as fans consume their favorite music.”

Grealy emphasized the fact that from a marketing perspective, podcasting is a relatively new area of expertise for marketers, who have demonstrated an interest in its entertaining nature. He also said, “However, in some instances, they’ve had to struggle to get through the maze of advertising on podcasts. Our job is to ease the process by providing assistance in the creation of content that is compatible with the medium of podcasts. We help marketers understand how to target their audience effectively and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts within the advertising realm of podcasts. In essence, we want to lower the barriers of entry into the market and offer a flexible solution for advertisers who want to advertise across a wide variety of podcasts.”

In regards to the possibilities that this Spotify Audience Network offers creators of podcasts in India in terms of monetizing their content, Grealy explained, “Spotify’s mission statement is to assist millions of creators earn money from their work. To achieve this objective, the company is focused on developing tools that serve creators as well as their audience. This includes features like publishing and distributing content via Spotify and off Spotify and making use of Spotify’s advertising analytics to measure and understand the impact of advertisements within your content. Thus, it makes podcast content more appealing to advertisers through participation with Spotify’s Spotify Alliance Network.”

In addition, Dhruvank Vaidya, Head of Podcasts at Spotify, explained that “Spotify Audience Network provides massive advertising. A majority of major media organizations have podcast networks, which, although they are still selling advertisements on their networks, might not be in a position to sell all of their inventory. Spotify Audience Network helps to sell off that inventory, thereby providing an additional stream of income. When more revenue is brought into the world of podcasts the creators and networks earn more money, which allows them to invest more into content, which results in an enhanced experience for viewers.”

Vaidya also emphasized the substantial development of the podcasting industry in India and the rapid influx of new producers, particularly CEOs and business leaders, making podcasts in different Indian languages. He also spoke about the widespread utilization of creator tools such as Spotify podcasters, previously called Anchor, which has contributed to the variety and growth of the creation of podcasts in India.

Arjun Kolady, the Head of Sales of Sales – India, Spotify, discussed the plans for expansion in India, Noting that Spotify has been operating in India for more than five years. Recently, the company has made major investments in team growth, increasing by 10 times over the last year. This expansion enables Spotify to provide more advertisers who have different needs in different regions and verticals, which significantly expands its advertising footprint overall.

Kolady also spoke of ongoing investments in products and investments, with one of them being the Spotify Audience Network being one of the most notable. He emphasized the role of the company to be a leader in the market in the emerging sector of audio advertising in India, as well as a commitment to informing and enlightening marketers and agencies to understand the available opportunities. This includes guiding them in designing the most effective ideas, evaluating their impact and utilizing them to achieve goals, as well as executing campaigns that are innovative and efficiently working with content. The importance of education will remain a major focus in the future of Spotify in the years ahead to establish India’s place in the world of audio.

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