Spotify Free users can now watch a video ad and get 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening in returnBy Shawn Knight
Streaming music service Spotify is going visual. The company on Monday announced they're getting into the video business by launching a pair of video advertising products targeting a slice of its 30+ million free users around the globe.
The new Spotify ads come in one of two different flavors. First, brand partners can buy 15- or 30-second "takeover" ads that target desktop users. Video ads for desktop will only be shown if the desktop client is in view - otherwise, a normal audio ad would be played instead.
The second type of ad is the one getting the most attention today as it allows mobile users to watch a 30-second commercial in exchange for 30 minutes of ad-free listening.
Spotify has signed on a number of high-profile brands for the new video ads including Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonalds, NBC Universal pictures, Target and Wells Fargo.
Specifically, the ads will be shown to what Spotify calls a "highly engaged" audience - those that spend an average of 146 minutes a day (or more) listening across multiple devices. The ads will only be shown to users in six markets for the fourth quarter: Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, the US and the UK. Spotify plans to expand the campaign globally next year.
No word yet on how much Spotify is charging advertisers for the spot but regardless, the market for video ads in general is massive. According to eMarketer, US advertisers are expected to spend $1.44 billion on video ads for mobile devices this year.