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Spotify expands Audience Network; plans self-serve podcast ad buying

In a multi-faceted, wide-ranging announcement, Spotify is expanding its audience network to Anchor podcasts, and plans other moves intended to benefit creators and advertisers. (Podcast hosting and creation platform Anchor is a Spotify subsidiary.)

The most immediate change is putting Anchor podcasts in the Spotify Audience Network, an advertising marketplace that enables marketers to message listeners across podcasts and music. The Network operates in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. Up to now it has included only Spotify original podcasts plus podcasts on the Spotify-owned Megaphone platform. The number of podcasts on the Spotify Audience Network has grown 50% since launching early this year, according to Spotify.

Adding Anchor is significant. While the company does not enumerate the number of podcasts in Anchor, Spotify does say that “Anchor powers 70% of Spotify’s podcast catalog.” Obviously, adding that bulk significantly expands the breadth and reach for advertisers.

That is half of an equation for Spotify. The other half is increasing the breadth of advertisers, in addition to podcasts. The company will soon add podcast buying to the Spotify Ad Studio, a self-service channel focused on ease of use and small budgets.

As an addendum to today’s raft of Spotify news, the service is joining the Global Alliance of Responsible Media (GARM), a cross-industry initiative established by the World Federation of Advertisers to address the challenge of harmful content on digital media platforms and its monetization via advertising. Spotify is the first audio platform to join.

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Brad Hill

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