The Next Big Thing

Spotify targets wider digital advertising in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 2015, 1:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 April, 2015, 12:11pm

Spotify, the European online music-streaming service backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing, is opening its doors to more marketers in Hong Kong under a new partnership with Pixels, the city’s largest digital-advertising sales agency.

Sunita Kaur, Spotify’s managing director for Asia, said the company was keen to deliver “engaging and immersive advertising solutions” through this new alliance.

“Pairing audio with visual advertising is not only one of the most powerful forms of marketing online, it’s also a unique new addition to the Hong Kong advertising market,” Kaur said on Thursday.

Since launching its operations in the city in 2013, Spotify has proven to be hugely popular with so-called millennials aged 15 to 34 who are spending more than 100 minutes a day on the service.

The privately-held company, with headquarters in London and Stockholm, announced on Tuesday that it had 60 million active users at the end of last year, with 15 million paying subscribers.

“Spotify’s music library is unrivalled, featuring millions of tracks from local and international artistes. Advertisers have responded with enthusiasm and are already working with us on campaigns to include custom content and branded solutions that aim to harness the potential of Spotify’s audio experiences,” Pixels chief executive Kevin Huang said.

In Asia, Spotify has worked with global brands such as Nike and Adidas to harness the appeal of music playlists and provide an interactive experience with the advertisers’ target audience.

FWD Insurance and Mercedes-Benz have recently signed on to run advertising campaign and branded playlists in Hong Kong with media agency MEC.

Registered users of Spotify can access and listen to the firm’s vast digital music catalogue for free, with advertising between tracks, on their personal computers, media tablets and smartphones.

Data from media-monitoring company admanGo showed that total interactive and mobile campaigns accounted for 12 per cent of the total HK$4.1 billion advertising spending in November last year.Market research firm Ovum has forecast the global digital music market to hit US$20 billion in revenue by 2015, driven by subscription services such as Spotify. 

Founded in Sweden in 2006, Spotify made its debut in October 2008 after securing deals with a range of major and independent record labels.

Li was an early investor in Spotify through his charitable institution. The Li Ka-shing Foundation confirmed its participation in Spotify’s first two rounds of financing in 2008 and 2009. Other investors in Spotify include Goldman Sachs, Technology Crossover Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Digital Sky Technologies.