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Spotify is going to start playing ads based on all those Nickelback songs you secretly love

Reuters/David Gray
Knowing you better than you know yourself.
  • Amy X. Wang
By Amy X. Wang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

There you were, naively thinking the dark recesses of your listening history were between you and Spotify alone.

The music streaming company this morning (July 20) announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with several ad tech companies, which will give the latter groups access to Spotify’s data troves—including an individual listener’s age, gender, and specific music preferences—that they’ll then use for automated advertising.

Brands placing ads on the platform will be able to target their promotions to specific listeners, based on personal demographics and even playlists and overall taste. In short: Spotify ads will soon start getting very, very personal.

Though listeners may cringe a bit, this is great news for advertisers, who’ll be able to closely target 15- and 30-second audio snippets to the 70 million global users currently using Spotify’s free ad-supported tier.

Spotify, too, will benefit; in a press release, the chief revenue officer of Rubicon Project—one of the three ad tech companies in the new partnerships—noted that streaming audio providers like Spotify are particularly “primed to tap into the enormous benefits of advertising automation.”

If rumors from this week that the streaming service is finally planning an IPO for next year are true, Spotify will need all the new opportunities for money it can get.

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