Spotify to test optional ‘takeover’ video ads on its free tier

Spotify Video Ad screenshotSpotify is getting visual with its latest advertising approach. The streaming service said it will test a new approach on its free version that offers listeners 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening in exchange for watching a video ad. If listeners choose to skip the video, they’ll continue to hear their regular ad-supported tunes. According to The Verge, the “video takeover” ad product will be on both the mobile and desktop apps. For the desktop version, though, the video ads will only play if the program is in view. The new ads are slated for testing in the fourth quarter with a select number of well-known brands, including Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s, and Universal Pictures.

It’s a move that falls in line with a recent survey by STRATA that found increased interest in both online radio advertising and in streaming video. Combining the two on a platform that doesn’t have a music-related video component is intriguing. It harkens to what many online publications have tried, where a full-page ad appears before you can continue to read an article. This approach of sponsored sessions, where the listener gets something in return for knowingly watching an ad, could potentially be a solid method of generating more revenue from the platform’s free tier.

Anna Washenko