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(Pocket-lint) - Spotify is introducing its own ads to podcasts – and even Premium users will hear them. They’ll be coming to Spotify original and exclusive podcasts initially, with others to follow.

At last year’s CES, Spotify talked a lot about podcasts, how they’d be a “game changer” for Spotify and its ambitions to grow exponentially grow the listening of podcasts via the streaming service (it also bought podcast creator Gimlet).

There’s little doubt the move has been mega-successful – there are now 500,000 podcasts on the service while there was a 39 percent rise in hours streamed for podcasts over the closing months of 2019.

Now Spotify is introducing some tech that will insert ads alongside podcasts – and enable targeting of ads against users’ listening habits.

We’d say the strategy is a little risky for Spotify – even though Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff points out that “podcasts have been ad-supported across the industry”, it still doesn’t mean that Premium users will expect to hear them.

Ostroff seemed to be pointing toward users expecting ads even if she also said that during a panel at Spotify's CES booth that there was an opportunity for Spotify's podcast ads because "a lot of the streaming services like Netfix, like Disney, like Apple are ad-free, so there aren’t so many places for people to advertise [to those audiences].

"Being the audio leader, we have the opportunity to shape [how these things work]. What we talked about in terms of mobile and digital video, we’ve seen new advancements but it’s taken everyone a little while to catch up. That’s where we are with podcast [ads]."

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The system, called Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), has been developed in house by Spotify and it will support existing third-party ads from other users.

Writing by Dan Grabham.