Back at CES, Spotify promised to revolutionize podcast ads with its Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) technology. The company said it could give producers and advertisers more detailed stats like actual ad impressions, frequency, reach and anonymized audience info. In other words, a lot more data than had previously been available for podcasts. The streaming service has been on a podcast push for years at this point, and now it will make it easier for listeners to take advantage of a discount with in-app offers.
Spotify says the tool will simplify what you’ll have to do in order to redeem a deal you hear about on your favorite shows. Basically, you’ll see the ad details on the episode page for that podcast inside the Spotify app. Instead of having to remember an offer code or a specific URL, you can navigate back to the episode listing for direct access. The discount info will appear under an “episode sponsors” heading, and tapping it will send you to the advertiser’s page where you can take advantage of the deal.
Of course, there are pros and cons to this. For listeners, there will be clear ads inside the Spotify app beyond just audio. The company says in-app offers are still in testing, but they’re in the alpha phase in the US with ads for Harry’s on Last Podcast on the Left and in Germany with HelloFresh on Herrengedeck. Spotify also points out that you might hear a deal you want at a time when you can’t immediately investigate the details — like if you’re running, cooking or driving. Obviously, being able to easily get the info without having to remember a code or web address would be useful in those cases.
For podcast creators, it’s going to clean up ad reads. No longer will they have to spend extra seconds repeating the key points two or three times to make sure you heard them. They can say it once and move on, the new in-app card will do the rest.
“The average podcast listener has heard a countless number of ads ending with promo codes or show-specific websites, carefully repeated three times so as not to forget it,” senior product manager of podcast monetization Joel Withrow explained. “In-App Offers makes it vastly simpler for listeners to redeem deals whenever they come back to the app, and we can all benefit from one fewer ‘w-w-w-dot’ spelling lesson from our favorite podcast creators.”
For advertisers, it means removing a key barrier to listeners acting on the ad they heard. It’s a lot easier to tap once than it is to recall specific details you heard earlier in the day, or make the effort to hunt for the ad again just to get that info.
Spotify says it will continue testing in-app offers through the end of 2020. So if you’re not a fan of this news, it could be a few months before your favorite shows start using the “episode sponsors” cards inside the app.