Spotify enables programmatic: selling your fans out to the highest bidders in realtime

Spotify has just announced that they are launching programmatic audio - globally. In simple english this means they're selling music fans to ad tech companies. Now, pay attention to the bolded bits:

Today we have officially enabled programmatic buying across our audio ads globally. We’re partnering with three of the largest and most established platforms in the programmatic space – AppNexus, Rubicon Project and The Trade Desk – to give buyers access to over 70 million music fans on Spotify Free.

Here’s the deal: we’ve launched Private Marketplaces for our best in-class audio advertising platform on mobile, allowing access for :15 and :30 second audio spots. This makes Spotify the first publisher to enable Deal ID/PMP access across audio inventory in a true, real-time bidding environment. Buyers will also have the opportunity to access Spotify’s authenticated first party demographic data and unique playlist data.

This is available globally across Spotify’s 59 markets. Buyers can target audiences by age, gender, genres and playlists – all in real time.

Today’s release rounds out one of the most diverse programmatic offerings in market, now expanding across display, video and audio, with industry-leading viewability topping 95%. We’re now one step closer to our goal of making all of our innovative ad experiences available programmatically.

Yes, that's simple content targeting based on the fans musical tastes, in combination with real time bidding. You should read lawyer Chris Castle's "A New Meaning for Real Time Bidding: An artist’s guide to how the brands and ad agencies profit from advertising supported piracy" to see why this is a slippery slope into the fraud of digital. Big numbers hide stuff.

Spotify used to only sell those annoying audio ads through audio-only ad exchanges at a fixed price, and completed transactions through manual insertion orders. Very old-school. This is a small revolution for them:

“We didn’t have the real-time optimization last year,” said Jana Jakovljevic, head of programmatic at Spotify and former Rubicon staffer to AdAge. “We were waiting for a programmatic standard for audio.” That came in January when the IAB released its “Programmatic and Open-RTB Protocol 2.4,” she said. “It gives the buyers more control in terms of optimization,” she said.

The goal is to get its mobile audio inventory included in more programmatic buys with “video, display and audio all together” and to tap into the fast growth of mobile programmatic ad spending, he said. “Programmatic channels, and money set aside for new concepts and investments — ultimately that’s where the money will come from.”

The programmatic revolution tacked onto the sponsored playlists created by paying brands will gain Spotify a neat penny while fuelling their growth.

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