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Thu 5 Sep 2019 01:51 PM

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How Spotify is listening for new Middle East advertising opportunities

Spotify for Brands has launched in the Middle East looking to disrupt traditional advertising markets

How Spotify is listening for new Middle East advertising opportunities

Audio is the new video.

That’s according to Marco Bertozzi, vice president of EMEA sales and multi-market global sales, at Spotify, as he tries to sell the possibilities of the audio streaming platform to potential brands and advertisers.

He told Arabian Business: “We’re in a world where I think there’s been an over-focus on video. Everyone has been competing on video and we spend a lot of time looking at screens. But if you take a step back from that, there’s a lot of opportunity in the audio space and if you think of your own daily life, whether it’s driving, working out for some, or if it’s Playstation where people can download and listen to Spotify while they’re playing.

“There are loads of huge moments in a day where people don’t have access to a screen and so our perspective, and what we’re talking to advertisers about, is how can you make the most of that opportunity?”

The launch of the music streaming subscription service in the region last year came months after it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2018 with a market cap of just under $30 billion.

Bertozzi revealed the company currently boasted 232 million active users and is excited about the potential of the Middle East region. “We’re always looking to grow and expand and the MENA region is a massive opportunity for us to do that,” he said.

Bertozzi was recently on a whistlestop trip to Dubai looking to tempt potential advertisers onto the platform, through the Spotify for Brands concept.

He explained: “I think advertisers and agencies have something in common in that they are always keen to look for some innovation, some new ways of reaching hard-to-reach audiences and I think one of the things with the platform is we have these younger Gen Z audiences at a decent scale and, if you’re an advertiser, you’re trying to find somewhere to reach these people.

“They’re spending over two-and-a-half hours a day on Spotify and so we’re a perfect platform for advertisers to reach those audiences.”

Spotify for Brands looks at the streaming behaviour of users on its free experience to develop insights that will help advertisers reach their audience in the right way.

The company has already worked with StarzPlay, the UAE-based subscription video on demand (SVOD) service and digital start-up, while Bertozzi said a campaign with chocolate bar Snickers garnered huge attention, particularly on social media.

He said: “You could argue that everyone has great music, more or less, it’s what you do with it. We’re really focused on that discovery through personalisation, creation of playlists, all of these different things are allowing people to consume that content in a way that’s bespoke to them and advertisers can work with that and start to think how they can message in this environment. How can they move away from everyone staring at a screen and take advantage of what is pretty substantial moments in a day that you’re not looking at a screen?”