As an avid music listener I have come to find that there are many sites in which users from all over the world can listen to music on the web for free. 8tracks, Pandora, sound cloud, songza and many others. I myself choose spotify as my musical hotspot. With thousands of artists, a sleek and easy to follow design, and the ability to create my own playlists spotify just works for me. For awhile I used to wonder how something like spotify could exist while being free, I mean, somebody has got to be getting paid. Later on I discovered the cash cow that is advertising and how the annoying ads that interrupted my jam sessions cost millions of dollars.
As would make sense with a music streaming service, the ads were always audio only and would last either 15 or 30 seconds before the next song played. However, spotify has launched a few new concepts for their “Spotify for Brands” Initiative. One is the “video takeover” in which instead of simply being an audio ad, a video ad takes over the screen allowing users to not only hear but to also see the advertisement being aimed at them. The video can be minimized to a bottom corner during airing and is currently only available on desktop platforms. However only completed views are billed to the advertiser. The second concept is aimed at mobile users, and is called a sponsored session. Sponsored sessions are a new advertisement format in which users are given an invitation to view a quick video advertising a major company and in doing so, are given 30 minutes of ad free music. The video advertisement finishes with a branded end car which can invite further engagement with the advertisement.
As a spotify user, one can completely opt out of advertisements by signing up for Premium, which brings various benefits, one being the riddance of all those pesky advertisements. Of course, the catch is that users then have to pay $9.99 a month for the benefits. As about three quarters of their 40 million user base choose not to pay for premium, spotify will continue to interrupt their music with advertisements and find new ways to garner a profit.