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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Culture Group’s partnership with Spotify Studios, Wattpad aimed at aspiring authors

Singapore – Culture marketing agency Culture Group has announced a partnership with Spotify Studios and Wattpad in order to equip leading Southeast Asian writers with the resources necessary to extend their content through podcasting.

Culture Group is the agency of record for Wattpad and agency partner of Spotify.

Developed by Culture Group to amplify the voice of leading literary creators from across the region, the program will see 20 Wattpad creators from Indonesia and the Philippines use the medium to offer new perspectives to fans, creating an immersive storytelling experience that allows original characters, worlds, and narratives to leap off the page through the power of voice. 

In addition, a 2-day virtual ‘Spotify x Wattpad Podcasting Workshop’ will teach the basics of podcasting, podcast marketing, and digital audio storytelling. The sessions will also delve into the future of podcasting, analysing trends and predicting what’s next for the medium.

Overseeing the programme, Culture Group will be responsible for the final production of all podcast episodes. The partnership between Wattpad and Spotify builds on Culture Group’s creator economy credentials, including the creative and content-led partnership between Wattpad and livestreaming platform, kumu. 

Michael Patent, founder and president at Culture Group, said, “Leveraging the power of storytelling for commercial and creative purposes is the mission of Culture Group. Following previous initiatives with Spotify, and having led Wattpad’s collaboration with kumu in the Philippines, it is exciting to expand our remit with both partners. Benefitting from their combined expertise, we are confident that the incubator program will educate and empower our aspiring creators, elevating their content and expanding their reach through Spotify.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

Spotify and IAS join forces to establish brand safety solution for podcast advertisers

Singapore – Spotify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) today announced a new partnership to establish a third-party brand safety solution for podcast advertisers. 

The companies will embark on rigorous analysis to help the industry understand the tools and resources necessary to effectively deliver brand safety in podcasting and digital audio writ large. Ultimately, the firms intend to create the industry’s first third-party brand safety and suitability reporting tool to bring more transparency and confidence to podcast advertising. 

Global media agency UM Worldwide will be part of the learning and development process as the first holding company to test this solution, ensuring that the voice and needs of advertisers are considered from the outset.

Podcast ad spending has grown rapidly over the past few years alongside an influx of listening worldwide. In fact, podcast ad revenue surpassed $1 Billion in 2021 and is forecasted to almost triple to more than $4 Billion in 2024. As investment and innovation in podcast advertising have surged, so has the importance of ensuring suitability for advertisers. There are well-established brand safety guidelines and technology across the digital advertising ecosystem, most notably in the video; however, these do not yet exist in audio. Creating a third-party solution for this now mainstream medium is critical to maintaining advertiser confidence and continued media spending.

To solve this challenge, Spotify and IAS are embarking on a joint effort to better understand how to responsibly and effectively validate that advertiser messages are served in their intended context for podcasts. In the future, the results will be used to create a first-of-its-kind brand safety and suitability tool to aid in campaign planning, management, and reporting.

Spotify’s Global Head of Advertising Revenue Innovation, Julie Clark, said, “We are pleased to be partnering with IAS, one of the most trusted leaders in media to give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions we already have in the market.”

The solution will be powered by Spotify’s first-party data and verified by IAS’ independent analysis solutions based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

Meanwhile, Yannis Dosios, global chief commercial officer at IAS, said, “Partnering with Spotify and UM to develop a podcast brand safety and suitability solution will be a transformational step for advertisers targeting the audio space.”

According to Dosios, podcasts are expected to reach more than 500 million listeners worldwide by 2024, and that this solution will offer advertisers more control and confidence that their messages will deeply resonate with their intended audiences.

UM Worldwide’s Global Chief Media Officer, Joshua Lowcock, commented, “Podcasts have hit the mainstream in a big way and our clients are ready to increase their investment in the space given the undeniable opportunity to connect with audiences; however, without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in,” said Joshua Lowcock, Global Chief Media Officer at UM Worldwide. “We’re pleased to see Spotify and IAS step up to create a brand safety solution and are ready to work with them during the building and testing phase to ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”

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Platforms Featured Global

Spotify’s ‘virtual universe’ on Roblox allows online fan, artist relationship

New York, USA – Global audio streaming platform Spotify has announced the launch of its ‘virtual universe’ on the popular online game Roblox called ‘Spotify Island’. The new virtual experience allows fans and artists to engage with one another through the game itself, as well as explore a wonderland of sounds, quests, and exclusive merch.

According to Spotify, through this interactive world, they are creating a place where fans can link up and create new sounds together, hang out in digital spaces, and gain access to exclusive virtual merch.

In addition, Roblox users can mingle with artists, complete interactive quests, and unlock exclusive content. Players can also enjoy an immersive audio experience by creating music and exploring sounds at the virtual beat-maker stations powered by Soundtrap, an online cross-platform digital audio workstation.

“Through Spotify Island, we’re creating an easy opportunity for artists to connect with fans and to partner with Spotify on the creation of in-game virtual merchandise. Spotify’s portion of those sales will go directly back to the artists themselves. We’ll work with artists to create more opportunities like this in the months ahead,” the company said in a statement.

From the main Spotify Island, gamers will be able to portal out to the themed islands that will come to life throughout the year. These destinations will be filled with exclusive content, artist interactions, and themed mini-quests that are designed for both superfans and curious explorers.And this launch just scratches the surface when it comes to ways users can experience Spotify Island on Roblox. 

The first themed experience fans can expect on Spotify Island is K-Park, an homage to all things K-Pop. Coming later this year, K-Park will give fans the chance to interact with artist superstars Stray Kids and SUNMI.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s MCI, Siberkreasi partner with Spotify to roll out new sports podcast class

Jakarta, Indonesia – Podcasts continue to grow in popularity amongst digital platforms today. With this in mind, Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MCI) and the National Movement of Digital Literacy, Siberkreasi, has partnered with Spotify, to persist their highly-received podcast series by presenting a sports-themed podcast class. 

This free podcast-specific upskilling program, which will be held online from 19 March to 3 April 2022 and will feature some prominent names in the space, is the second series of Kelas Podcast Siberkreasi 2022. It will explore the fundamentals of making quality audio podcasts, with specific applications to creating sports-themed podcasts. The classes will not only target the general public but also communities and clubs – including sports clubs that are interested in releasing their own sports-themed podcasts.

The first session of the series is titled ‘Pengantar Podcast untuk Olahraga’, which will be held on 19 March 2022, featuring Tio Utomo, the founder of Box2Box Podcast Network as the keynote speaker, while the second session will be held on 20 March 2022, which will further explore the topic ‘Tips dan Trik Menjadi Podcaster Olahraga’, led by Randy Arbiyantama and Febri Aryadi, hosts of the Retropus podcast.

Furthermore, participants will also be invited to the third session titled ‘Memahami Etika Podcaster di Dunia Olahraga’, which will be held on 26 March 2022, as well as the fourth session on 27 March 2022, called ‘Modal Komentator Olahraga: Boleh Provokatif Asal Tetap Suportif’. And lastly, the fifth and sixth sessions which are titled ‘Promosi Podcast di Media Sosial’ and ‘Sudah Siap Menjadi Podcaster Olahraga’, will be held from 2 to 3 April 2022.

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, The Ministry’s director general of information and communication technology applications, noted that to help nurture the growth of podcasts, they have identified digital literacy as a key component to ensuring that content creators will have the fundamentals to produce positive digital content in this space.

“We believe that our initiatives will help set a solid foundation for the digital content creation industry in the future,” said Pangerapan.

The registration can be done online through https://s.id/siniarolahraga, while the digital literacy activities held by Siberkreasi can be viewed on info.literasidigital.id.

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Platforms Featured Global

Shopify meets Spotify: latest partnership introduces ‘virtual merch table’ for artists

Sydney, Australia – Global commerce platform Shopify and global audio streaming platform Spotify have entered a strategic partnership that allows music artists to expand beyond music and traditional merch to build fully realized brands, all with the capabilities of both platforms in their own specialities.

Using the Spotify channel, artists can introduce products to the place where listeners and fans are already engaging with their music most. By connecting their Spotify for Artists accounts with their Shopify online stores, artists can sync their product catalogues and seamlessly showcase products of their choice directly on their Spotify profiles, making it easy for fans to browse and purchase. 

Said feature period is currently in beta testing, and is available to users across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

“Shopify is already powering the online stores of local and international acts, and the Spotify integration will further empower Aussie and Kiwi artists to showcase their unique talent, brand or creativity, and engage their fans even more effectively,” said Shaun Broughton, managing director for APAC at Shopify.

With Shopify, artist-entrepreneurs have access to an all-in-one commerce platform to manage their brands across multiple touchpoints that not only include leading social and entertainment channels and marketplaces, but now one of the most popular audio streaming services in the world.

“For new artists, Shopify is an easy-to-use, all-in-one commerce platform to start, grow and manage their brands. For artists with large followings and pre-existing businesses, Shopify’s world-class infrastructure effortlessly handles high volumes of traffic, key sales moments, and highly anticipated product drops,” Shopify said in a press statement.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Nostalgia, unrepresented sectors key drivers among young Filipinos’ preference for audio content

Manila, Philippines – The global pandemic has pushed the majority to tune in to digital channels to be entertained, including music streaming. With the greater majority of these listeners being under the Gen Z and millennial demographic, their diverse perspectives on music streaming content can be tapped by advertisers, as the latest insights from Spotify shows in retrospect of the Philippine market.

Part of the influencing factor many young Filipinos are streaming audio content more than ever is due to reasons around having it as a ‘mental escape’. For instance, the survey noted that the respondents have listened to songs from the ‘70s 59% more and songs from the ‘80s 40% more as a way to lean on to a ‘nostalgic feeling’. Furthermore, about 87% of millennials and 85% of Gen Z’s locally say that they listen to audio to reduce their stress levels. Lastly, around 76% of Filipino millennials see audio as a mental health resource.

In line with this, the survey recommends brands to align any of their sponsored content to a more ‘comforting’ zone, noting that this creates a positive association with the type of audio we are listening to. Furthermore, the survey also emphasizes the significance of the rise of podcasts, which can be used by brands to promote podcast episode snippets to inform listeners and increase curiosity.

“Listeners are more receptive when messaging matches their mood. Consider millennials’ nostalgic listening experience and lean into contextual targeting to match their vibe,” Spotify said in a statement.

And with audio now having a more ‘emotional’ attachment to these younger generations, respondents are now more positive in democratizing live experiences concerning audio content. About 65% of the respondents say that they prefer connecting with other music fans around the world through a live-streamed concert, while 35% prefer connecting with their favorite local artist and fellow fans through a physical concert.

In addition, 51% of the respondents now prefer virtual concerts in contrast to the 42% of respondents preferring physical concerts, stating that virtual concerts are far more cheaper and more convenient.

The survey also noted that as part of democratizing these audio experiences to a wider audience, brands are advised to think more of the consumer base’s interests, not what they are made of. For instance, gamers who are long stereotyped for the male demographic, are now expanding into the female demographic.

“Gamers are focused on scoring when they’re deep in play mode, but they also use time spent gaming to learn and discover new things, from podcasts to playlists. Take your targeting to the next level by reaching gamers of both generations in real-time while they’re soundtracking their gaming,” the company added.

A larger part of the democratization of live experiences in audio content is due to the wave of fanbases rallying support behind these artists and content creators, with 39% of the respondents saying they have known their favorite music artists or podcast creators via social media. Other factors include knowing them from an existing artist (15%), streaming service recommendation (11%), friend recommendation (9%), and as seen from a movie or TV show (8%).

“Gen Zs and millennials are not just consumers, they’re creators. Pull back the curtain and give your audience a backstage pass to your brand’s creative process — and the opportunity to be part of it,” they commented.

Lastly, Filipino Gen Z’s and millennials understand that part of their diverse audio listening experience comes from amplifying unheard perspectives from societal sectors that are not given amplification back then to represent themselves. Around 62% of millennials and 58% of Gen Z’s in the Philippines said they’ve sought more content from more diverse creators and podcasts in the last year.

In addition, 68% of Filipino Gen Z’s believe they have more freedom to be their authentic selves than previous generations.

“As voices behind the mic become increasingly diverse, the audio medium is resonating with a wider audience — the fruits of which are already starting to change the industry,” Spotify stated.

The platform added, “[Gen] Zs are the most racially and culturally diverse generation yet, and they expect brands to reflect, represent, and empower them through their campaigns, talent partnerships, and participation in social justice movements.”

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Platforms Featured ANZ

SBS Australia partners with Spotify, Zenith to drive new audiences to video streaming platform

Australia – Television network SBS in Australia has partnered with Spotify and Publicis Media’s ROI agency Zenith for its new media campaign called ‘Demand Different’.

The campaign, which runs until July 2021, aims to build a customized digital experience to drive new audiences to SBS’s video streaming platform, SBS On Demand, and reconnect with its lapsed viewers. 

Through the partnership, Zenith will be tapping into Spotify’s enhanced algorithms to curate a custom SBS weekly playlist based on a user’s unique music preferences. Spotify users in the free service will be targeted via audio and display ads across platforms, while its paid subscribers are targeted on social media. 

Users will all be directed to a ‘Spotify X SBS On Demand’ microsite where they can opt in to be served a weekly SBS playlist based on their music preferences. This will allow SBS to showcase the breadth and depth of its SBS On Demand back catalog as a world-class streaming destination while opening up a new world of programs, genres, and key sporting events to Spotify listeners.

Zenith Sydney’s Managing Director Jonny Cordony shared that the team at Zenith has worked hard to differentiate from other performance-driven campaigns, and as part of this, they identified music as a core consumption opportunity within the streaming community.

“We were able to showcase hero programs and hidden gems across various content pillars in a completely customized way, curated based on their music preferences,” said Cordony.

Meanwhile, Pieter Manten, the regional head of sales at Spotify AUNZ, said that the breadth and depth of their data and insights offer a level of targeting which is unparalleled with any other audio format, as they are with their 11.9 million users every day.

“The opportunity to collaborate with SBS and Zenith to combine our insights represents a best in class approach to targeting, as we are not only driving new audiences but creating unique and customized experiences for users across both platforms,” said Manten.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Spotify SG releases SEA insights, spurs brands to ‘assimilate’ with pop culture

Singapore – Music streaming platform Spotify in Singapore has recently released its insights on listenership among users in Southeast Asia, with recommendations on how brands can utilize the platform as a way to communicate with their consumer base.

The insights found that K-Pop’s streaming statistics amount to 500 million monthly streams in SEA alone, with a 1,800% increase in share of listening on Spotify since 2014. 

In times of crisis that create cultural shifts, younger generations go all in for businesses that take a stance. About 65% like it when brands tell the world exactly where they stand and the causes they support – and that’s because discourse around social and political problems has truly found its way into everyday conversation.

Furthermore, 41% of Southeast Asia’s Gen Zs and Millennials agree that politics has never been as influential in pop culture as it is today, and, if SEA’s latest crop of artists and songwriters are anything to go by, complacency around the big issues looks like it is set to be a thing of the past.

With this in mind, Spotify encourages brands to utilize the platform through promotion of local artists, riding the pop culture wave of the Gen Z demographic, leveraging the genre to suit pop culture tastes as well as using music streaming channels such as playlists to create a ‘postcard’ that serves as a message to a brand’s consumer base.

Furthermore, Spotify encourages brands to recognize allyship or recognition of breaking social barriers or standards to communicate the message of ‘being who they are’.

“Gen Zs & Millennials understand that it’s ok to not be ok. The rules that govern this state of mind are complex, but music is (and has always been) an important part of the healing process – 60% of them still turn to music when feeling down or stressed,” the company said in a press statement.

They also added, “With listeners in Southeast Asia spending more than 2 hours daily on Spotify, audio is primed to take centre stage for advertisers looking to insert themselves into the narrative. We are entering a golden age for audio, and a whole new frontier for the audio advertising medium. Old habits may die hard, but lockdown has created new rituals – and new moments in the day (and night) where advertisers have the opportunity to capture audience attention.”

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Platforms Featured Global

Spotify goes global with inclusion of over 30 languages in platform

Stockholm, Sweden – Music streaming platform Spotify has announced that it will be rolling around 36 language support in its platform following its announcement last February 22 on the livestreaming announcement “Stream On”.

The new update makes the total languages on the platform to 62, and is part of the company’s update to make Spotify more accessible for speakers of these additional languages worldwide, and goes hand in hand with the company’s commitment to building a “borderless audio ecosystem.”

Some languages include those from Asia Pacific namely Bengali, Bhojpuri, Simplified Chinese, Filipino, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Eastern and Western Punjabi, as well as Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

Other global languages include Afrikaans, Amharic, Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Estonian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Persian, Portuguese for Portugal, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swahili, Ukrainian, and Zulu.

“These market and language expansions allow us to engage with more listeners, in more places, in more languages. By reaching more people, we are giving millions of new creators the opportunity to build a career, while connecting existing creators with new audiences,” Spotify said in a press statement.

Spotify has lately expanded its growth globally, adding over 80 markets that Spotify will serve, ranging from countries in Africa to the Carribean.

To date, Spotify’s library contains more than 70 million tracks, 4.5 billion playlists, and more than two million podcasts, made by over eight million creators.