Spotify has contracted Viacom to create custom content, programming and influencer content development for Spotify globally.
The deal covers 15 different markets across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia Pacific and India. The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal, but emphasized its global scale.
While Viacom isn’t doing the media buys, Spotify will still be placing ads with the help of its agency of record, UM, and its own in-house agency. Spotify will use Viacom’s reach on linear, digital and social platforms to make sure that custom content secures “added value and premium inventory,” in the words of June Sauvaget, Spotify’s global head of consumer and product marketing.
While the pairing between Spotify and Viacom is uncommon, Sauvaget sees it becoming more of a norm going forward. “Having the upfront discussions means you’re able to secure premium inventory, higher-impact inventory at a lower cost, and that’s always beneficial to a brand,” she said.
Spotify chose to work with Viacom, she said, primarily because of its global reach and because of the variety of different channels and resources it has to reach what she described as micro-audiences. Examples might be the Gen Z audience for Awesomeness TV or the urban demographic for BET, she said. In the U.S., Viacom reaches 80% of consumers ages 18 to 34.
Sauvaget said that Spotify is a platform that doesn’t want to focus solely on paid media to drive its brand position; it wants to be able to reach and speak to new audiences who can be users, and because its content is so rooted in culture, especially through music, it needs partners who get those cultural references.
“The way our consumers pick up content is influenced by local nuances in culture,” she said. “We need partners who reference the very nuanced nature of our marketing efforts and are both localized and fluid.”