Brands neglect music streaming options

12 November 2014

SYDNEY: Brands in Australia are failing to take full advantage of the advertising opportunities offered by music streaming platforms, with many simply recycling the ads they run on other media.

That's the conclusion reached by Ad News which spent time listening to each of the ad-funded versions of the top three streaming sites in Australia – Rdio, Spotify and Pandora.

While all three sites offered around four 30-second ads per hour, AdNews observed that most brands' ads followed the style of those which appeared on websites, social channels and radio.

Kate Vale, Spotify managing director in Australia, admitted that some advertisers were using the platform as a replacement for radio, but added that "some of the strongest campaign results … have come from brands who tailor their ads to take advantage of the specific benefits of our ad platform".

And she offered the example of Disney, which had served targeted audio ads which did more than just ask listeners to watch the trailer for a new cinema release – they were also invited to engage with musical content from the film.

But such examples were so far the exception in the Australian market, AdNews suggested. Brands ought to be looking at how they could creatively exploit options such as playlists and sponsored ad-free segments which allow a user uninterrupted music for 30 minutes.

Over at Pandora, Jane Huxley, manager for Australia and New Zealand, said her listeners weren't specifically music lovers, but rather a wide audience who were usually doing something else while listening.

She preferred to focus on a different area. "The concept of wastage is critical to us," she said. "We pay royalties on every song we spin. We don't serve ads if you are not listening, we don't serve ads if you are not looking and we target our ads to relevant demographics."

Nonetheless, Ad News felt that advertisers who didn't explore the particular possibilities of music streaming were "potentially missing out on connecting with a new audience".

"Without creating engaging content, advertising on the platforms is a waste of money," it stated.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff