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Spotify’s Jakovljevic on Programmatic Ads

Spotify recognizes how programmatic could enhance targeting and optimization of an audio buy

Jana Jakovljevic is the head of programmatic solutions at Spotify. She is also previously employed by Rubicon Project. Jakovljevic participated in this Q&A after the streamer’s late July announcement of its expanded programmatic targeting options.�

Radio magazine:The Spotify Private Marketplaces program was announced July 20. How long has Spotify been considering this kind of programmatic offering?

Jana Jakovljevic:�Spotify has been live with a display and video programmatic offering since 2015. Audio has always been a consideration, and we have been working since this time to make this a reality. Being a data and tech platform, we recognized early the benefits programmatic buying could bring to enhance targeting and optimization of an audio buy.�

Radio:How was Rubicon Project selected as the programmatic vendor?

Jakovljevic: We are working with two SSP (Supply Side Platform) partners � Appnexus and Rubicon Project. We�ve had longstanding relationships with both platforms, and we�re fortunate two of the most respected and robust tech vendors in this space shared our vision and demonstrated agility and commitment in supporting our needs for real-time, data enriched buying of audio.

Radio:The concept of micro-targeted ads seems to make a lot of logical sense, but is probably not that easy to implement. What were/are some of the technical challenges?

Jakovljevic: Certainly not easy to implement when you�re trying to transact with a paper insertion order. Prior to programmatic, it was difficult to implement, would require multiple creative assets, various line items and relied on approximate reach estimates.Often, the resource necessary to execute and granular�targeting would make this an unviable option for both brands and publishers. Micro-targeting becomes efficient when marketers can execute in real-time, having the opportunity to buy across a broad range of users, but being able to optimize based on location and/or audience.

Radio:The programmatic announcement on your website indicates that the company offers programmatic ads in “display, video and audio, with industry-leading viewability topping 95%.�� Can you explain what �viewability� means in this context?

Jakovljevic: Viewability is a measurement for display and video ads � what percentage of the creative was on screen? Often in programmatic, ads can appear below-the-fold completely out of view. All of Spotify�s ads are designed for viewability and are 100% SOV� brands never have to compete for a user�s attention. Our display and video ad products experience some of the highest viewability scores in the industry, consistently achieving over 90% in-view.

Radio:The Rubicon Project press release says: �Brands are now able to access Spotify�s data and target listeners with 15-and 30-second audio advertising spots based on age, gender, music genre and even specific playlists � all in real-time via Rubicon Project’s Orders platform.� Can brands combine and customize these demographics/preferences?

Jakovljevic: Absolutely. If a brand would like to target females, 24, listening to yoga playlists, we are able to gather that data. But the true opportunity comes from testing and learning across various audience segments, all of which are now available programmatically.

Radio:Anything else that you think Radio readers might be interested to learn?

Jakovljevic:One of Spotify�s USPs is our unique, authenticated first party data. Most campaigns will leverage either age or gender at a minimum based on their target audience. I think the most interesting thing for your readers to note is audio streams have now eclipsed video streams and most listening is done from mobile devices. Audio lends itself perfectly to mobility; it�s the first ad opportunity reaching users across offline activities.