Spotify Will Now Let Brands Sponsor the Most Popular Playlists

Kia, McDonald's and Target are all getting in on the action

Remember the old days when you'd give a girl or guy a playlist in the hopes of winning them over? Now, Spotify is letting brands try the same trick.

Spotify has begun letting brands sponsor the most popular playlists curated by the music streaming service, offering advertisers a way to match music with a message. Sponsored Playlists, as they're called, match a marketer with a playlist that lines up with a certain audience they have in mind based on campaign objectives. In a blog post today announcing the new offering, Spotify said it will work with advertisers to drive streams to a playlist during the sponsorship through native promotion, brand marketing and social media.

"Think content plus context; the right message in the right moment," according to a blog post published today by Spotify. "Cardio or Power Workout are perfect for a footwear brand expanding from lifestyle shoes to workout sneakers. A QSR adding breakfast to the menu? How about Morning Commute? An entertainment company with a summer blockbuster teeny-bopper flick? Teen Party, of course. You get the idea."

Spotify will also have in-playlist media packages that include native logo placement, ownership of the first ad break and 100 percent display share of voice (SOV). Sponsored Playlists will only be featured on the free version of the platform.

Many of Spotify's more than 400 internally curated playlists already have massive listener bases. For example, the Today's Top Hits playlist has 8 million followers, Rap Caviar has 3 million, ElectroNOW has 2.5 million and Hot Country has 2.4 million. (Just yesterday, Spotify announced that its Discover Weekly playlist is streamed by 40 million users.)

Brands including Kia, McDonald's and Target have already begun buying sponsorships during a beta testing. Spotify said Kia—which sponsored New Music Friday to promote the Kia Sportage—used its week to gain a click-through rate that doubled the overall campaign benchmark.

Here's a video explaining how the playlists will work: