Spotify has teamed up with ad tech company AppNexus to enable programmatic buying across the global music-streaming site’s audio inventory.

That means advertisers can now purchase and target ads in real time alongside the existing display and video spots. Campaigns are also based around Spotify’s banks of first-party data, which contain insights into listening habits and login information.

The music service previously sold audio on an exclusive and fixed-price basis, serving these ads manually.

Courtesy of one of the more high-profile deals in programmatic audio-buying, advertisers will have access to Spotify’s 100 million active users, with the added advantage of reaching listeners without competition for attention, while enjoying immunity to ad blocking.  

Additionally, AppNexus points out that advertisers are able to reach mobile users where visual media can’t, such as when walking, driving, working or exercising. The caveat is that audio ad buyers still won’t be able to reach Spotify’s ad-free premium users.

Diversifying programmatic

With Triton Digital’s a2x in 2013 claiming to be one of the first audio exchanges on the market, uptake of the format has been until now somewhat experimental.

That may be about to change, as automation claims another victory on precious ground.

Last month saw online radio player iHeartRadio introduce a private marketplace for programmatic audio ad-buying, and other services, including Pandora, which already offers display inventory via programmatic, show hints of following suit.  

“Spotify is taking the lead on enabling programmatic buying for audio by leveraging our powerful data and user insights in real-time,” said Brian Benedik, global head of sales, Spotify.

“AppNexus’ platform and robust technology allows us to make our inventory and data available in a secure environment and provides direct access to the largest buyers in the world.”