Spotify has announced plans to start airing ads inside its exclusive podcasts as part of a new program called Spotify Podcast Ads. The ads will be powered by a proprietary new podcast ad system called Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), which “leverages streaming to deliver Spotify’s full digital suite of planning, reporting and measurement capabilities”.

In a press statement, the company said that Spotify Podcast Ads will offer the “intimacy and quality of traditional podcast ads with the precision and transparency of modern-day digital marketing … In short, we’re keeping what podcast listeners, creators, and advertisers love about podcast ads and making the medium addressable for digital advertisers”.

Image Courtesy: Spotify

According to Spotify, its ad targeting will be significantly more accurate than yardsticks presently used by podcasts. While the industry has typically had to rely on audience surveys or inferences about the podcast’s content to figure out where to allocate their podcast ad budgets, the company says its platform will provide “provide data-driven recommendations and insights to help you reach the right audience”.

What this means is that different people watching the same podcast may start seeing entirely different ads based on not only their streaming habits, but also their locations, age and gender. While most of that will be likely be anonymized, Spotify didn’t specify what exact info it will be sharing with external parties, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out going forward.

Either way, the new platform has already found takers, with global sportswear brand, Puma, reportedly becoming one of the first advertisers to get on the SAI bandwagon by teaming up with Jemele Hill, the host of Spotify original podcast, ‘Jemele Hill Is Unbothered’. With the enhanced targeting, Spotify says that the test drove ad recall lift of 180 percent.