Streaming Music - why advertisers need to tune in.

Before I get into this article, I’d like to ask that we all bow our heads and pause for a symbolic moment of silence.



(still silence)

(almost there)

(okay, read on)

I make this tribute in honor of the all too apparent death of the album. Yes, the days of buying an artist’s entire record, listening to it from start to finish over and over and over is nothing but a nostalgic memory.

The state of things today is simple: no one is buying music anymore. Instead, they are buying access to music. It’s Spotify, Pandora, Google Play,, Tidal and Apple. It’s playlists. It’s “What’s your mood?” music. It’s an app on your phone.

And just like Shakira’s hips, these stats don’t lie. From 2013-14, streams were up 54%, while digital tracks and CDs fell 13 and 15 percent respectively. On a side stat note, vinyl record sales are making a comeback with a 52% bump.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I have Spotify Premium and I love it. 30 million songs on my phone! And from an advertising perspective, these platforms are creating terrific new opportunities for brands to engage their audience with insightful precision, powerful placement and smart timing.

Here are 3 good reasons advertisers should tune into the world of streaming music.

1. Targeting

Most of the streaming platforms have useful segmentation data on their listeners. You can target your audience by age, gender, location, device (mobile or desktop), daypart, and music preference. For example, say you’re a fitness-related brand and have a new product for long-time female runners; you could filter your ad to play only for women age 40-50 who are listening to a Running playlist.
2. Share of Voice

Unlike traditional radio, television or many things online, ads on these streaming platforms are played in isolation. When your video or audio spot comes on, it’s the only one a listener will hear. This lack of advertising clutter allows your message to stand out more clearly and stay longer in the minds of your listeners.
3. Active Ears

When the Family Feud asks, “What’s the most common place people listen to radio?” The survey always says, “In the car.” However, with streaming radio, it’s a much different story. People are streaming on their phones, on the computer, iPads, through their Smart TVs and so on. They are switching playlists. Hitting “thumbs ups” or “thumbs down.” It’s a much more engaged listener. Thus, your ad won’t be as easily tuned out. And your consumer is often a click or tap away from your website.

Yes, the music world has changed drastically. And it hasn’t been without controversy. Taylor Swift told Spotify and their royalty percentages that they were never, EVER getting back together. Nice-guy Beck knocked the audio quality. “It's like watching Citizen Kane on your phone,” he said. And Neil Young, for that same reason, recently pulled tracks from Spotify.

No matter what your view on streaming music may be, it’s here to stay. And advertisers can’t ignore the areas of opportunity that are available. So take a look at how these platforms might fit into your marketing mix. Then, do me a favor. Go buy an album – digital, cd, vinyl, 8-track – and listen to it from start to finish. After all, even though there’s a lot to love about the future, we cannot forget what was great about the past.

For more information on all things streaming audio and video, talk to us at Eicoff. While we may be experts in television, what we care most about are results... wherever we can find them.