Spotify opens personalized ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists to brand sponsorships

The company has started testing an advertising opportunity that will allow brands to sponsor the curated playlists “end-to-end.”

Spotify announced on Monday a test to allow brands to sponsor its personalized “Discover Weekly” playlists. The launch advertiser is Microsoft, which will use the sponsorship to promote its AI campaign “Empowering Us All.”

Discover Weekly’s branded sponsorships. Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” is a two-hour long curated playlist sent to listeners every week, with music selections tailored specifically to individual users’ tastes. While Spotify does run ads during the playlists, the sponsorship will give brands an opportunity to customize the ad experience for the entire playlist.

“Personalization has quickly gone from a nice-to-have to an expected consumer experience that delights audiences and marketers are craving opportunities to be part of it,” said Spotify’s global head of partner solutions Danielle Lee, “Our new Discover Weekly ad experience positions advertisers for success and ensures that our fans are hearing messages that embody the ethos of discovery.”

The company says it had to “push the boundaries of its ad infrastructure” to build the sponsorship opportunities and is now testing it with Microsoft. A Spotify representative said the “Discover Weekly” brand sponsorship ads are not dynamically inserted to target individual users right now, but the content of the ads remain important as Spotify aims to make sure advertiser messaging aligns to the value proposition offered via the curated playlist. No information on sponsorship costs was given.

Microsoft’s AI campaign aligns with Spotify’s AI experience. Spotify’s head of industry and tech Casey Weinriech remarked on Microsoft as its first “Discover Weekly” brand partner, noting the alignment between the company’s  AI-powered personalized playlist and Microsoft’s technology.

“When people think of Spotify, they think about music—all of the world’s songs, albums and their favorite playlists right at their fingertips. At the same time, Spotify is a technology company. The magic with this partnership is we were able to identify a tech partner with a shared ambition to utilize technology, in this case Machine Learning, to enrich our user experience,” said Weinrich.

Microsoft’s general manager of global media Erin Bevington also commented on the partnership and Microsoft’s work around AI.

“At Microsoft we are focused on empowering every individual and organization to do more. Our work in AI is a central part of that mission to unlock human ingenuity. Our partnership with a technology innovator like Spotify offered a way for us to effectively share that message within a personalized entertainment experience powered by AI,” said Bevington.

Why marketers should care. Spotify currently has 200 million daily active users and 87 million paid subscribers, and according to Monday’s announcement, millions of Spotify users listen to the streaming music platform’s “Discover Weekly” playlist. The company says “Discover Weekly” listeners stream music on Spotify more than double the amount of users who don’t listen to the playlist.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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