Reach Gen Z and Millennial Prospects With Spotify (PART 1)

Could targeted Spotify ads help your financial brand to break through the noise?

With over 240 million listeners enjoying an average of 25 hours of ad-supported content every month, Spotify is the world’s leading music and podcast streaming platform. And while online and mobile streaming continues to gain in popularity across all age groups, the majority of Spotify’s users are under 35, making it an ideal channel to reach elusive Gen Z and millennial prospects in the midst of their daily routines.

What’s more, Spotify makes it easy for advertisers to fine-tune their audience with advanced targeting tools that go beyond the usual demographic and geographic parameters. With flexible creative options, a minimum spend of just $250, and access to real-time analytics, it’s easy for community banks and credit unions to get started with their first Spotify campaign – and Lightstream is ready to help.

Sound intriguing? Read on for more info about the importance of engaging Gen Z and millennial consumers and how Spotify can drive that goal.

📣 FAST FACT: Audio ads drive 24% higher recall on average compared to display ads.



While they may not have hit peak profitability yet, reaching and retaining younger account holders is vital for future growth. Here’s why:

  1. They Dominate the Population: True to their name, baby boomers (born 1946–1964) were the biggest generation in the U.S. until 2019. Since then, they’ve been gradually overtaken by millennials (born 1981–1996) – and when you add in Gen Z (born 1997–2012), these younger generations make up the majority of the population. For financial institutions looking to forge enduring relationships, demographics are destiny.
  2. Many Are in Their Prime ‘Adulting’ Years: The term millennial might still conjure up images of disaffected youth, but many are now nearing or over 40, well-established in their professions, raising families, and in the market for traditional banking solutions like mortgages, IRAs, and 529 plans. Within Gen Z, many are entering the workforce and in need of products that will help them take charge of their finances.
  3. They Desire Financial Security: For many in these generations, the Great Recession was a formative childhood memory or a major roadblock on their early career path. Whether their parents were among the millions who lost their jobs or homes or they experienced serious setbacks themselves, Gen Z and millennial consumers crave the kind of financial stability that community financial institutions can help them achieve.
  4. They Desperately Need Guidance: As we discussed in a previous blog post, there’s a big financial literacy gap in the U.S., and it’s worse for young adults. Gen Z reports the lowest levels of confidence in basic money skills like saving and managing debt. They’re also most likely to seek out info on streaming and social platforms. Financial institutions have a valuable opportunity to build brand awareness and trust as a guiding voice on these topics.
  5. They Value the Service You Excel At: For all their talk of tech, younger consumers desire genuine human connections. They might prefer mobile tools for day-to-day transactions, but when it comes to bigger financial decisions, they’re more likely than their Gen X and boomer counterparts to demand personalized attention, continuity, and transparency. As a community institution, that’s already your strong suit.

📣 FAST FACT: 51% of Gen Z account holders have considered switching financial institutions because of a bad service experience – twice the rate of boomers.



Here’s how you can use this popular audio platform to engage with your ideal audiences:

  1. Go Mobile-First: What better way to promote your institution’s digital services than on a digital channel? Position your Spotify ads to focus on your tools that make routine tasks easier, like mobile bill pay, online loan applications, and on-the-go budgeting apps. In combination with broader messaging, this can boost brand awareness as well as your credibility as a financial institution that keeps up with people’s busy lives.
  2. Focus on Device Type: As we’ve noted, Spotify’s overall customer base trends young. But you can further hone in on Gen Z and millennial audiences – while avoiding age-related targeting restrictions – by sending ads only to mobile devices. Boomers may be the fastest-growing segment of smartphone owners, but they’re still at 61%, while Gen Z and millennials are holding steady around 95% of smartphone owners.
  3. Target by Topic: Most people equate Spotify with music, but it’s also increasingly the go-to platform for podcasts – especially for members of Gen Z who prefer Spotify to Apple® Podcasts by a wide margin. This presents an opportunity for highly granular targeting, like serving up more sophisticated messaging to fans of business, investment, and cryptocurrency podcasts. It’s also a good way to promote your financial wellness resources.
  4. Seize the (Micro) Moment: Audio plays an integral role in many everyday activities like driving, studying, cooking, cleaning, and exercising. Many users have specific playlists for these tasks, and you can target them by keyword to deliver perfectly timed pitches. Plus, you can take advantage of Spotify’s contextual targeting capabilities to deploy multiformat campaigns that display complementary video and still-image content when users are actively scrolling.
  5. Tap Into Psychographics: Custom playlists can also reflect transitory moods and mindsets. Someone listening to a playlist named “Calming” might appreciate a low-key message of reassurance, while “Summer Dance Mix” might call for something more irreverent and celebratory. Creative options like these are great for A/B testing – you can try out two very different approaches and see which one drives more conversions.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, where we’ll cover the different types of Spotify ads and tips for crafting ads that inform, entertain, and convert.

📣 FAST FACT: Lightstream currently serves over 40 financial institutions from coast to coast.

Since the earliest days of streaming, search engine marketing, and social media, LIGHTSTREAM has been helping community banks and credit unions use these powerful tools to their fullest potential. What are you hoping to achieve with your next marketing initiative? Reach out to our digital strategists today, tell us your story, and find out how we can support your goals.