Spotify announced that Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), which they launched in January of 2020, is powering their latest podcast innovation: In-App Offers. Spotify posted information about this on their Spotify for Brands blog.
Spotify points out that many people listen to podcasts while doing something else, like getting ready for work, exercising, or doing dishes. If a listener hears about a compelling offer on a podcast, during one of these “screenless” moments, it makes it difficult for the listener to check out that offer. In-App Offers is designed to make it easier for the listener to find an offer (and, ideally, make a purchase).
With the launch of In-App Offers, our goal is to reduce this friction and make it easy for our listeners to connect directly with advertisers and their offers featured in podcasts. Listeners can now redeem offers when the time is right for them with visual reminders like an offer card featured on the podcast’s episode page. We’re alpha testing In-App Offers in the United States and Germany with partners including Harry’s, Quibi, and HelloFresh and plan to continue testing through the end of the year.
Those who listen to a podcast episode on Spotify, on their smartphone, will see an In-App offer presented on the episode page. When the listener is done cooking dinner, they can return to that episode on Spotify, see the In-App Offer again, and click on it.
If I’m understanding this correctly, clicking on the offer will take listeners directly to the website of the advertiser mentioned in that particular podcast episode. Whatever special deal or discount that was attached to the offer should carry over as the listener goes from the Spotify app to the page where the product is sold.
While the In-App Offers appear to be intended to attract brands to place ads in (and on) Spotify, I think it has a benefit for podcasters, too. In general, a podcast that has an ad deal with a certain company or service needs to sell a certain amount of stuff before the podcaster can get paid for their effort.
I think Spotify is right about In-App Offers making it way more convenient for listeners to make a purchase of a product they heard of in a podcast episode. It also could encourage impulse buying, which is something people often do when shopping in physical brick-and-mortar stores.