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News January 29, 2021

Spotify will insert ads into podcasts, even if you have a premium account

Senior Journalist, B2B
Spotify will insert ads into podcasts, even if you have a premium account

If you love Spotify and dig podcasts, but hate ads, best you take a take a comfy seat.

Earlier this month, the music streaming service announced its roll out of Spotify Podcast Ads for all its U.K. subscribers, including the millions who stumped up for a premium, ad-free account.

Reporters from the U.K.’s The Independent reached out and asked why paid users of the ad-free music service would be exposed to those pesky commercials when plugged into podcasts.

A Spotify statement to the daily title noted that advertising is “an integral part of the podcast industry.”

The devil, as they say, is in the detail. Spotify’s fine print states “no ad interruptions” in connection with its music offering.

The corporate statement continues, “All Spotify users receive an on-demand podcast listening experience that may include ads or sponsorships. Spotify Premium offers users an ad-free music listening experience. However, Spotify offers all listeners the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward through any part of a podcast episode, including advertisements.”

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TIO reached out to Spotify’s Australia team for a comment on how the development affects users in these parts.

A year ago, Spotify launched a new product called Streaming Ad Insertion, which enables advertisers to insert targeted ads inside podcasts. Which is great for advertisers and clients, annoying for millions of fully-paid-up customers.

Spotify has invested big in spoken-word content, laying out more than US$600 million in snapping up podcast networks like Gimlet and The Ringer.

Last year, the streaming giant slapped down its chips when it recruited Joe Rogan for a blockbuster podcast deal worth an estimated US$100 million over several years.

Spotify is going gangbusters, thanks in part to its podcast push. In its latest quarterly earnings report, Spotify announced that it had notched up 320 million active monthly users, with 144 million paid subscribers.

According to The Indy, Spotify claims it accounts for 19 per cent of podcast listening.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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