Spotify launches audio-timed interactive ads for podcasts

Spotify Call To Action Podcast Ads
Spotify Call To Action Podcast Ads (Image credit: Spotify)

What you need to know

  • Spotify has launched Call-to-Action cards for podcast ads in its app.
  • The interactive ads will be audio-timed when the ad begins playing on the podcast episode.
  • Ads will also appear on episode summaries, podcast overviews, and other places in the Spotify app.

Spotify might have done both a good and bad thing with its latest announcement.

In a press release, the company announced that it is bringing Call-to-Action cards for podcast ads to its app. The feature will allow podcast sponsors to display interactive ads on the Now Playing screen when a user is listening to a podcast episode.

The company says that it should make things a lot easier for potential customers to connect with a product as, instead of needing to remember a promo code or URL, they can just tap on the ad as it pops up when it begins playing during the podcast episode. In addition to displaying on the Now Playing screen, the ads can be displayed on episode summaries and the podcast overview page.

CTA cards will appear in the app as soon as a podcast ad begins playing, and will resurface later on while you're exploring the Spotify app—making it easier to check out the brand, product, or service you heard about while listening. CTA cards will make it easier for you to directly discover the products and services you're interested in without having a hard-to-remember promo code or vanity URL.

Spotify Now Playing Cta

Spotify Now Playing Cta (Image credit: Spotify)

While all of these make sense and are actually a great idea for consumers and advertisers, Spotify also says that ads can also "resurface later on while you're exploring the Spotify app." In one of the promo images for the feature, it appears that these ads could even show up on the Search tab while you are looking for music and podcasts. This could become a sore point for users who, while maybe appreciating the ease of use in podcast episodes themselves, don't want to be peppered with ads across the rest of their Spotify experience.

The company says that the CTA cards will begin showing up today for some of its original and exclusive podcasts in the United States.

CTA cards will be available across select Spotify Original & Exclusive podcasts in the U.S. beginning today. Advertisers can be especially excited—our tests have shown twice as many site visits with these new clickable ads compared to non-clickable podcast ads. Learn more at

We'll have to wait and see how this new feature affects the user experience in the Spotify app. If it's done right, it could be a great user experience for consumers and the brands they'd like to check out. On the other hand, it could be a detriment to the app depending on where and how often these ads surface to users.

Apple Podcasts, of course, has not rolled out a similar feature. Users who use Apple Podcasts can either take note or a promo code or URL when a podcast ad plays during the episode, or check the episode's show notes for that information.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.