For travel advertisers, being front of mind when someone is booking their next holiday is key. This is why the UK travel vertical spent £1.41 billion (eMarketer) on digital media in 2017 to keep their brand at the forefront of holiday-seekers’ minds.

The travel market is more competitive than ever with consumers using multiple comparison engines checking prices across hundreds of airlines, hotels and holiday providers. So it’s never been more important for brands to be front of the queue when users start their holiday research.

Audio advertising is a great way for brands to reach their potential customers in a brand safe and highly engaged environment. According to eMarketer; 35.1 million people in the UK will listen to audio content digitally in 2018 making it one of the highest consumed forms of media.

Introducing Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify Ad Studio aims to open out audio advertising, both programmatic and direct, to the masses; helping break down the barriers on an advertising medium which has had traditionally high production costs.

Advertisers can either upload their own audio creative, or they can provide a script and some creative direction and Spotify will record and mix the ad to be used on an advertiser’s audio campaign. Advertisers can then utilise Spotify’s unique first party data set with targeting options based on age, gender, location and music choice.

Audio ads provide a platform where advertisers can reach their audience when they are highly engaged listening to online content. But they also provide an insight into our audience’s mindset and activities through the music they listen to. Are they listening to a workout playlist? A cleaning playlist? A holiday playlist? This is vital insight into a user’s state of mind when being targeted with an advertiser’s message and we can use this to ensure we are reaching an audience at the right time.

What this could mean for travel brands

One of the standout features of Spotify is utilising a unique dataset based around music, playlists and listening patterns. This means we’re now able build unique campaigns for brands through mediums such as bespoke generated playlists and data-driven creative.

As with programmatic campaigns, it enables us to leverage large quantities of data in order to build highly targeted and creative audio campaigns. This benefits brands by offering additional insight from their campaign. This insight can then be fed into other channels and vice versa, resulting in a fully integrated approach to planning and activation.

Spotify has significant reach in the UK totalling up to 15.7m users, and its user base tend to be tech savvy when it comes to travel; with over a third of users subscribed to its free tier, booking holidays online. They are also keen travellers with 64% of free users having been on holiday in the past 12 months.

For travel advertisers, getting their brand in front of the user at the right time is key to standing out from the competition. But getting in front of the right user can also pay dividends beyond the digital space, with 32% of Spotify free users acting as influencers to family and friends sharing holiday ideas, adding potential further reach to your media campaign.

So the audience is highly engaged and actively involved with researching and booking holidays online, but where do travel brands fit into this?

There are over 110,000 travel and holiday-related playlists on Spotify and using a mixture of these playlists as well as other data points such as location, age, gender and demographic targeting options, as well as insight through different partners, we can create highly targeted strategies to reach an audience at key stages in their research journey.

Verdict

Audio is just one of many options for brands when planning their media strategy. But it does present advertisers, particularly in the travel vertical, the opportunity to use data outside of traditional cookie based audiences and reach a highly engaged and frequent holiday audience.

We look to leverage as much data as possible to inform our targeting and channel planning to create fully integrated solutions for brands which ensure they stand out and reach their audience in intelligent and creative ways.