Monday, 19 October 2009

Conservatives on Spotify - a good idea?

This week will see the Conservative party in the UK start advertising on Spotify.

A 40-second audio ad with Conservative chairman Eric Pickles talking about debt (and the need to vote Conservative) will appear between songs for users of the non-premium, ad funded Spotify service. (This is the first political advertising that Spotify has carried and is mooted to start on Weds 21st October.)

Conservatives on Spotify - image from Benedict Pringle

On the one hand this targets digital-savvy, youth oriented audiences and Spotify's postcode targeting allows the message to be potentially refined by location. Furthermore this initiative has been amplified in both social and mainstream media with the 'Conservatives on Spotify' story generating headlines and blog coverage - and by association the Conservatives are positioned as 'modern' and 'forward thinking.'

Whilst Spotify audio advertising falls outside of the regulations that prevent party political radio / broadcast advertising, I can't help feeling that 'younger audiences' will not necessarily appreciate having their music stream interrupted by the voice of 'plain speaking Yorkshireman' Mr. Pickles?

The Spotify ads are a week long experiment and form part of ever evolving party political digital campaigning in the UK. So if the Conservatives on Spotify campaign doesn't work in the intended way then I doubt we'll see any more of this. If it is a success then expect more disruptive political ads on everything that is exempt from the traditional election rules - online video is not covered by the rules that prevent party political TV ads, online streaming services like Spotify are not covered by the regulations that prevent political radio ads and so on.

Though the big winners may be Spotify (and other similar services). 'Conservatives on Spotify' has drawn further attention to the service and on the one hand Spotify further monetise their free service by taking revenue from political parties, on the other an influx of political advertising may drive subscriptions / sign ups to Spotify ad-free, premium accounts as people try to escape political propaganda!

The case for Spotify accepting political campaigns is obvious, however, I still can't decide whether Conservatives on Spotify will make ad recipients more or less likely to vote Conservative......

Related posts now with Facebook Connect

Speech Generator - user generated political conference speech remixer

#AskDC - David Cameron's live streamed Twitter sourced OU speech

Like this post?
Then subscribe to regular updates from this blog -
click here to use a Reader or click here to get email updates


David Wilding said...

Oh dear. There is a difference between targeted advertising (ie this) and being engaging and relevant (which the Tories could never do let's face it). What's the link between music & public debt? Maybe it's all a brilliant stunt from spotify to make advertising so horrendous for listeners they sign up to the premium service!

Laurence said...

I think it's a really bad idea - Spotify advertising is very clever and interactive, however I am not sure Spotify is an appropriate platform to engage with young people.

I totally agree with David, perhaps this is just a stunt to get more people to use the premium version!

Nick Burcher said...

Bit disappointed that they haven't served me the ad - would appear that I'm not classified as 'young' or 'tech savvy.' I have heard the ad elsewhere though and it's better than I thought it would be - starting with an 'apology for interupting the music' but 'this is something important that needs to be said'. The ad then finishes by thanking the listener for their time and something like 'now back to the music.' Still think it's interuptive but at least the scripting and execution shows an understanding of the environment and is well positioned as a message that is annoying but necessary.

Still not sure about this, but think it's significantly better than I thought it would be!