Spotify Ads: How They Can Help Earn the Trust of Millennials & Gen Z (PART 1)

Are you looking to tap into the power of streaming music to advance your health system’s marketing goals? Knowing how to use Spotify and other streaming music services strategically can be a great way to reach younger audiences.

With a global population of more than 3 billion people across two generations – Gen Z (born 1997–2012) and millennials (born 1981–1996) – it’s no wonder companies worldwide are trying their best to capture the attention of these influential consumers.

Streaming music services like Spotify have become increasingly popular with listeners under the age of 35. Over 80 million people use Spotify’s free tier, and more than 20 million pay for premier plans, according to the company’s latest figures. It’s safe to say that Spotify is more than just a streaming platform – it’s a powerful marketing channel for brands targeting Gen Z and millennial prospects. And Lightstream is ready to help get you there.

In this first post in our two-part blog series, you’ll learn why Gen Z and millennials are a worthy focus of your healthcare marketing strategy and how Spotify ads for health systems can help you engage with this demographic.

📣 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 healthcare prospects 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 healthcare organizations looking to forge enduring relationships, demographics are destiny.
  2. Many Are in Their Prime ‘Adulting’ Years: The term millennial might still evoke images of disaffected youth, but many are now nearing or over 40, well-established in their professions, raising families, and in need of a variety of healthcare services. Within Gen Z, many are aging out of their parents’ healthcare plans and need guidance from their healthcare providers. Spotify ads focused on educational outreach can help build credibility toward a longer-term trusted relationship with these prospects.
  3. They Take Things Into Their Own Hands: A huge percentage of millennials don’t have a primary care provider. In fact, 38% say they trust their peers more than medical professionals, and 55% believe online health information is as reliable as information from a doctor. In fact, they are twice as likely to act on advice they find online or on social media sites. For many in this generation, the COVID-19 pandemic was a jarring experience that only fomented this mistrust. Spotify advertising allows you to reach this audience with pertinent messaging where they hang out.
  4. Wellness Is Where It’s At: Millennials have a different outlook on health than older generations. Seventy-seven percent prioritize activities like eating healthy and avoiding “bad for me” foods altogether. Moreover, millennials highly value holistic and nontraditional forms of healthcare, such as fitness perks and homeopathic medicine, showing that they are dedicated to total well-being. Millennials strive for a mental and physical balance when it comes to wellness, which healthcare systems can help them achieve.
  5. They Need the Care You Can Provide: 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 decisions about their healthcare, they’re more likely than their Gen X and boomer counterparts to demand personalized attention, continuity, and transparency. As their healthcare provider, that’s already your strong suit.

📣 FAST FACT: Only 28% of Gen Z thinks their health plan values their personal and mental health.



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 teleHealth, online appointment scheduling, and mobile health applications. In combination with broader messaging, this can boost brand awareness as well as your credibility as a healthcare organization that people can trust.
  2. Focus on Device Type: As we’ve noted, Spotify’s overall customer base trends young. But you can further home 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 at 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 and to start earning trust with this audience. Not surprisingly, this generation overwhelmingly wants to be communicated to with digital channels (41% prefer email, and 34% prefer text communications from their health plan).
  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 more than two dozen of the nation’s biggest healthcare brands.

Since the earliest days of streaming, search engine marketing, and social media, we’ve been helping healthcare systems 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.