Spotify and Meta have made substantial changes to their ad platforms as they brace for the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. These changes will likely impact political ad spending this election cycle.
Spotify brings back political advertising. According to an email sent by Spotify to partners this week:
- Political ads will be eligible to run across thousands of podcasts on and off of Spotify.
- Podcasts on the Spotify network will have the ability to turn off political ads.
- The ads will only run on the Spotify podcast network for now.
- The ads will not run on the free-streaming music networks.
- Spotify will only host ads from known political entities (not issue-related groups).
Political advertisers can also target niche audiences using Spotify’s artificial intelligence-driven “contextual targeting.” Spotify says this will allow advertisers to place ads in podcasts discussing relevant issues to reach their target audience.
Spotify stopped running all political ads in 2020 because they couldn’t “responsibly validate” political ads. So what’s changed in 2022?
“We have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” a Spotify spokesperson told Protocol.
Meta targeting now includes updated congressional districts. Advertisers will have the ability to target audiences based on U.S. congressional districts. This information will reflect the 2020 census and will be eligible on all ads interfaces and APIs under the “2020-census” notation. As the districts are finalized, they will begin rolling out across Meta for location targeting.
One catch: if a congressional map is in litigation, no targeting will exist for the time being. So advertisers will have to manually target users by way of ZIP code or city.
The previous pre-2020 census information will still be eligible for targeting through the beginning of 2023. All advertisers looking to run ads on Meta properties will still need to be authorized with the proper disclaimers in order to be eligible.
Why we care: As we head into the next election cycle political advertisers will have new opportunities thanks to Spotify, and updated congressional districting on Meta. This should lead to more digital ad spending – and if the Spotify AI works as advertised, a much more custom option for political advertisers.