LAS VEGAS — When Spotify was growing up, its founder Daniel Ek often talked at length about the gravitational force of the playlist. Where albums once dictated how consumers accessed music, and MP3s atomized the album, playlists would be the new unit of consumption.

But, even as it dives more heavily in to podcasts, now Spotify no longer thinks of itself simply an audio platform – and one of its leading advertising executives is leading that charge.

“That’s how it’s moved for us,” says Spotify Europe VP Marco Bertozzi, “moving away from being a music player to where really culture’s happening right now, and moving away from a playlist to a multi-dimensional relationship with consumers, whether it’s live gigs, concerts, and so on.

“At Spotify we’re trying to create, from a consumer perspective a multi-sensory platform now. We’re talking a lot about playlists that include video content actually in the stream of the playlist as opposed to just the list of songs. That’s important because our fans, the fans of the artists really want to dig deeper into understanding more about their artists and what they’re doing.”

He was better known to Beet.TV viewers as the man who helped grow Publicis’ programmatic advertising business.

But last year Marco Bertozzi jumped out of the agency world and in to a music subscription startup, when he was named Europe VP and head of sales for the service.

With big outgoings represented by its label payments and having raised $2.7bn in funding to date according to Crunchbase, Spotify will make its initial public offering this coming spring in what is one of the most anticipated tech listings for years.

Spotify leads Apple Music with 70 million paid subscribers, underpinned by a free service offering ad-supported music to a much larger audience. Three big developments have been happening in the audio world:

  • Music platforms have opened up to programmatic advertising, making buying easier.
  • Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, while Apple has turned on rudimentary analytics for the format.
  • Home speakers with voice-controlled assistants are putting audio devices in millions more homes.

But, for Bertozzi, it’s no longer just about the sound of music.  “People are spending more time looking, they’re looking at the screen as well as listening,” he tells Beet.TV. “When the phone’s in the pocket, then of course we have audio messaging. But, at the same time, if people are commuting and they’re looking at their screen, then we want to be able to show video advertising as well.

“The video side of things for us is less about is it different in terms of look and feel, but it’s more of the metrics behind it because we have, it’s 100% share of voice. There’s no clutter around it. All you see is the video ad.”

This video was produced by Beet.TV in Las Vegas at CES 2018.   Please visit this page for more coverage.