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Jamie PragnellMay 29, 2019 11:03:11 AM3 min read

Spotify: Why it’s Effective in Reaching Gen Z’s

Jamie headshot black and white  by Jamie Pragnell

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Spotify: Why it's effective in reaching Gen Z's

One of the most common issues that comes up with our education clients is how to best reach high school students. It’s pretty well known nowadays that Gen Z’s have very short attention spans (about 8 seconds – yep, you read that right). Luckily, even in this day and age when people are paying less attention than ever, there are still some incredibly effective tactics to reach them. One of those tactics is Spotify.

To date, Spotify is the largest music streaming platform in the world by number of subscribers. Ok great--they have a lot of subscribers, but what does that mean in terms of reaching Gen Z? According to Business of Apps Spotify usage and Revenue Statistics for 2018, “Spotify has the most youthful user base of the three platforms, with over half of users aged 25 or under, compared with 40% of Apple and 39% of Pandora users”.

Quote: "Spotify has the most youthful user base of the three platforms, with over half of users aged 25 or under, compared with 40% of Apple and 39% of Pandora users." Mansoor Iqbal, Business of Apps

For students, it’s an incredibly affordable platform to be on, they can share songs with friends and track what they are listening to. Furthermore, it gives Gen Z’s access to podcasts and new music, and they offer family plans where there can be multiple accounts, all billed to the parents (a huge upside for high school students of course!). Welcome to the world of streaming people – Radio is moving out.

spotify-mau-vs-subs-19(Source: Spotify)     

Where does Spotify fit into my plan?


Spotify is all about catching the audience at the right place and the right time. It’s not an overly robust platform where we can track click though rates and time spent reading. However when it comes to targeted awareness, Spotify does a killer job. It allows audience targeting based on demographics and behavioural segments, plus you can re-engage Gen Z’s through retargeting.

Spotify-demographics(Source: Vero Analytics)     

Spotify also just announced that they are testing voice-enabled audio ads for one of its own podcasts and another separate one for Unilever. This will offer even more access to a world of targeted advertising through the platform. It also is a unique way to reach Gen Z’s who grew up with Siri and other voice activated features on their smartphones.

Where do Gen Z's use it?

We have been busy conducting our own market research with Gen Z’s. What we hear the most from our high school students is that they love using Spotify on their way to school, and most of the ads don’t bother them all that much. If your media plan includes a digital and social strategy targeting students at school, why not remind them of who you are on their way to and from school as well? When it comes to awareness, you want your brand to be top of mind, and that generally means they need to come across your brand multiple times a day. Hey, McDonald’s brand wasn’t built overnight.

Spotify-users-by-age(Source: Goodwater Capital 

Incorporating Spotify into your Gen Z recruitment strategy can help boost awareness in a targeted way, and ultimately help with some of the heavy lifting when it comes to your traditional and digital online strategies. Audio ads increase ad recall on traditional display ads by 24%.

Building awareness with Gen Z’s doesn’t need to cost a ton of money. There are plenty of traditional and online forms of targeted advertising that focuses on awareness. If you need strong brand presence and your goal is to reach high school students, Spotify is a great tool.

Contact us today for help with elevating your student advertising techniques.

P.S. Follow us on LinkedIn for tips, tricks, and industry updates.

We collected insights from 1,700 high school students on their media preferences for higher ed advertising. Access Report.