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[All Platforms] No Ads in Podcasts for Spotify Premium users

Status: Case Closed

I pay for my subscription. Every month for years now. The main reason I am a paid-for subscriber with Spotify is so I don't have to hear ads. As I have shifted my podcast listening from other providers to Spotify to bypass ads, both from the platform as well as integrated into the content.

 

I expect not to hear ads on Spotify. I understand there are ads woven into the actual content of the podcast itself, but for as big of a company and the amount of leverage Spotify has, I expect to not hear ads so long as I am paying for the service.

 

I reached out to Spotify and got this lazy, generic answer from Joy in Spotify Customer Support: “if you're hearing ads on podcasts using this Premium account. It's possible that the podcaster integrated that ads to their podcast content”. Thanks for breaking your back on that response.

 

I KNOW what the ads I’m hearing are. And I understand they can’t ask podcasters to export two versions, one with integrated ads and one without. What I expect from Spotify is to either implement metadata that tags the beginning and ending of ad segments and bypass them for us, Premium subscribers, or require podcasters to give metadata timecodes that Spotify can identify to bypass them AUTOMATICALLY.

 

Just to be clear, even if these identifiers are put into the content, I don’t want to have to pull my phone out to hit any sort of “skip ads” button. This is literally the ONLY reason users have Premium. So get rid of the ads. It’s actually very simple. And let’s not get started on how archaic it is to continually hit the “15sec forward” button to bypass the ads, first over shooting, then undershooting the duration of the integrated ad, only to have to make peace with hearing the last ten seconds of the ad. At that point it’s not servicing either party in the transaction.

 

It’s 2020. You are a huge company with a lot of leverage and a huge developer budget. I honestly can’t believe I’m even having to write this suggestion.

 

tl:dr - Spotify, I am a Premium member. You made a promise to me that if I became a Premium member, I wouldn’t hear ads. I’m hearing ads on podcasts. Integrated or not, I don’t care. You have the technology and power to fix it. So fix it. And make it automatic. It’s 2020.

Updated on 2021-02-08

Hello everyone,

 

This Idea has been brought to our attention as it recently passed the 500 votes threshold but we have to close it since it requests something that can't be influenced in the context of the Idea Exchange.

 

The Ideas section provides users with the opportunity to share their opinion on what features and app improvements can be developed, to make Spotify better. This idea however, in it's core fundamentals, requires to change how the Premium subscription works and what opportunities Spotify offers to Podcast creators. 

 

As part of the Premium subscription, all music can be enjoyed ad-free. And while Spotify doesn’t play ads that interrupt the music listening experience of Premium subscribers, some podcasts may include advertising, host-read endorsements, or sponsorship independently of the streaming platforms featuring such podcasts.

 

Providing a way to circumvent those is not something that our Idea submission process can accomplish.

 

This doesn't mean that your feedback isn't heard and that this request couldn't be fulfilled by some other means in the future. On the contrary, this is being monitored and we invite everyone to share their opinion in a constructive manner. We will then ensure to pass it on to the relevant teams.

 

Please do note, that we do understand the overall sentiment and if the thread stops being useful as a source to track constructive feedback, we will need to close it for further replies.

 

All the best!

Comments
stewey

I think one of things that surprises me the most is that Spotify have managed to step in and replace a huge part of the market where traditional record companies were failing because they weren’t willing to create new strategies for a very changing landscape. I feel Spotify are risking getting stuck in the same rut as them and opening up an opportunity for new competitors to step in.

 

The way and reasons why I personally listen to podcasts are similar to that of a book. Some time to be absorbed into something in a calm and reflective manner and also to drift off to sleep as they help mask my tinnitus. Adverts completely change the tone, pace and volume of things which I find very intrusive and disturbing. We are bombarded with advertising everywhere in our daily lives. Let us have our quality time without interference. Like Donnie says, we are paying for that.

Lgnthmpsn

The worst part of this whole b.s.  is that spotify commented themselves and said "they must be using OUR new ad integration software"  if it is your software that allows / promotes this then disable it for people who pay you to not **bleep**ing do it. And don't be so disrespectful and have the audacity to talk it up like it's a proud thing in response to a complaint about that product being an issue

Lgnthmpsn

Screenshot_20201028-100809_Spotify.jpg

stewey

Hey Lgnthmpsm, that sounds like something pretty significant. Do you have a copy or link to that response from Spotify? Apologies if it’s in the history threads related to this but I couldn’t find it.

 

So I’m thinking this “New Ideas” section of a user forum just isn’t the place we are going to  get our voices heard. It’s not even the obvious place for other disgruntled users to seek. The complaint has been going since 2017 and keeps getting reset. Maybe we could use our efforts in better ways and in a joint effort way. 

I appreciate we are all probably in different countries but I’m wondering if this is something that Ofcom should be made aware of here in the UK. Perhaps there are similar complaints bodies for the communications industry in your own countries too?

 

We shouldn’t have to waste our time to try and put right what Spotify have let go wrong. I’m up for doing my bit but soon I’ll be speaking my mind by cancelling my subscription if no response is made by Spotify. Anyone remember how to work Napster again? 😉

stewey

Anyone still in doubt whether podcasts are big business for Spotify and not just a generous “convenience”, as suggested by someone previously, should look at this article by Spotify for advertisers about podcasts:

 

https://ads.spotify.com/en-US/news-and-insights/streaming-ad-insertion-podcast-advertising/

stewey

That was a link for advertisers in the US. On the Spotify Advertising homepage in the UK podcasts are the biggest mention and selling point I’m seeing. Here is one of their big articles selling the medium to advertisers:

 

https://ads.spotify.com/en-GB/news-and-insights/podcasts-and-the-attention-sweet-spot/

 

So with Spotify’s own words to advertisers in mind, “Podcast fans listen up and take action”, let’s prove them right!

 

Darth13

I am sure the podcasters love that ads are being forced down listeners ears through their integration **bleep**. The only way to not get these **bleep** ads, is to not listen to any podcasts. So sorry podcasters. I specifically pay for premium for no ads, now I get to hear ads from PowerBall!! and multiple times in a row!!!! AWESOME!!!! 

MisterVega

I'm confused. Wouldn't this require Spotify to fund every podcast so that premium users can listen without ads? Seems unfeasible, unless they hike the price on premium to cover the costs. Most of these podcasts are uploaded to multiple platforms and the funding they get from sponsorships are likely way more than what Spotify could pay. As a premium user, you're paying Spotify to remove THEIR ads from THEIR platform. If you don't want to listen to the ads, just skip forward like 30 seconds (there's buttons for that), it's not like a normal unskippable Spotify ad. If Spotify forced creators to remove ads from their platform in exchange for less money, you bet your ass they're gonna get out of Spotify.

 

In response to one of the other comments on this post, that this "opens the floodgates" for musicians to place ads after/before their music. What? We as a society have decided that podcasts are the audio equivalent of television, and as such, advertisements for free entertainment is understandable. Something has to fund the production of these shows and the wages for all involved (especially when these people make it their day jobs). If you want an ad-free, paid service for podcasts akin to Netflix or Spotify Music, try a different platform like Luminary. They have a premium podcast service that has ad-free shows (of course there's no free listening, though, even with ads).

bongatier
Whether the ad is from Spotify or anywhere else is irrelevant.

I’m paying Spotify for access to their platform in an ad-free way. Spotify aren’t holding up their end of the deal. I’m still getting ads.

Using a Television ad-revenue analogy in a world where subscription based, ad free streaming services dominate is a weird one.

Spotify paid Joe Rogan $100m for exclusivity to his Podcasts. Funded by... yup, Spotify subscriptions.

I want the ad-free service I’m paying for.
stewey

To be clear Spotify are involved in the ad integration on their platform. They are advertising this service to advertisers. They are claiming it to best thing since sliced bread to them. I’m totally up for advertising in exchange for listening but not when I’m paying a subscription to remove ads. And yes, I will be looking elsewhere for an ad free podcast service if Spotify don’t clean up their act in this regard. As a consumer that is what I desire and see value in paying for. Just as I’ve always supported the BBC license fee here in the UK. I’m sure society will force this in time, I just wish Spotify would recognise this before they become the next victim of complacency.