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

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
osornios
Rock Star 24
Rock Star 24
Status changed to: New Idea

Updated on 2020-08-31

Marked as new idea, which is a repost of this inactive idea.

DonnieDarkOh
Music Fan

Someone beat me to the punch so I'm just going to add my two cents as well.

 

As a Premium user, I pay for ad-free music content, my podcasts should be ad-free too.

If content creators are embedding ads, we (the users) should be able to flag them so they are made to edit and remove them. The same way they would if they were explicit song tracks etc.

There is no excuse for embedded ads and it only opens the floodgates to music having ads embedded too. If creators have a huge backlog of podcasts maybe set a date and after X date they must follow this rule and have their history fixed. Also there’s no monetary gain for Spotify to allow this, so why?

As a long time user I hope you will consider addressing this. It drives me crazy and not really want to listen to podcasts at all. I hate ads! This is why I pay for Premium!

Thank you. Cheers.

bongatier
Newbie

I agree with DonnieDarkOh!


Spotify claims that my experience would be ad-free... but it isn’t!

Paizen
Casual Listener

Couldn't agree with you more.

Greenshield
Music Fan

I am hearing ads on the Your Daily Drive playlist made for me interspersed with news, sport and other spoken bulletins, but I am getting ads, and its really annoying me. I paid premium to get Spotify ad-free so why am I hearing ads. Incidentally, one of the ads was for another music streaming service, which is just plain old commercial self-harm.

BrittanyEdwards
Visitor

Such a pain!

stewey
Newbie

It really is shocking that this hasn’t been given more attention and shameful that Spotify won’t even engage in the conversation. Clearly this is a topic that concerns the business model so why not engage and be transparent about things. Personally I’m on the edge of cancelling my account solely on this matter because to me it fundamentally goes against the idea of paying for the service.

ajdinmore
Newbie

Somebody's got to say it: this is a bad idea which would result in some podcasts disappearing from Spotify or dying completely. There's no way Spotify would want or likely be able to give podcast producers anything like the revenue that they get from direct sponsorship.

 

Perhaps there's middle-ground where deals could be made with some, probably larger, podcasts to appear on the platform exclusively without ads, but it couldn't work accross the board without ruining things.

 

Podcasts aren't part of Spotify's premium offering; they're a (generally) free resource that Spotify provides access to for convenience.

stewey
Newbie

I certainly agree that it’s rocky ground and a difficult thing to navigate whilst allowing podcast producers a way to earn enough revenue to survive. I have to disagree that Spotify are providing podcasts as a convenience. They are building big business on an outlet that is becoming huge. Even if it just keeps its users in its ecosystem then it would be financially beneficial to them.

 

Please correct me if I’m wrong somebody but doesn’t Spotify add adverts to podcasts when listened to without a subscription?

 

So where would you draw the line? Music producers placing adverts in their recordings? If the podcasts are allowed to use the system this way then why not them too? There are many creative ways to earn revenue that aren’t about bombarding consumers with advertising. I’ve never been uncomfortable with a podcast being sponsored. A quick mention of a supporting company. Seems reasonable and actually much better exposure for that single sponsor than ads that people skip and get irritated by. Akin to some product placements in a Netflix show. I’m not overly a fan of such things as I think it cheapens the production but for certain genres it actually doesn’t detract so much. 

Then, let’s not forget that the most profitable avenue these days is from profiling users. We are giving away extreme amounts of valuable data to Spotify and all sorts of companies and platforms constantly. Sometimes in exchange for a product/service but also many times when we are already paying a subscription for a service.

 

I have no intention or desire to belittle anyone’s opinion here. It’s a grey area for sure but one where a certain compromise is surely possible to be found so that podcasts and all content can be enjoyed as they are intended.

 

So please, let’s keep the dialogue going and please join in Spotify team. There’s no harm in some honesty and transparency, it would actually make you more likeable and increase loyalty I believe.

DonnieDarkOh
Music Fan

ajdinmore,

This is not about the podcasters, this is about the users of a platform who pay for an ad-free experience.

 

The whole point of this "Idea" is to open the discussion and flag it with Spotify, it is not our jobs to solve it as users. It is most certainly NOT a bad idea. Spotify has figured out ad-free music. YouTube has figured out ad-free music. Apple music/ Google Play etc. Netflix & Prime have provided ad-free movie & TV experiences. We are not asking for the impossible. No one is asking Podcasters to remove ads from all their other platforms. Also, re-read the top, original idea that suggests Spotify create an algorithm to bypass the ads all together.

 

stewey also brings up good points. Here's mine:

I don't know how long you've been a user but Premium users have been told long before podcasts existed that if we pay for Spotify service, our experience would be ad-free. This is now untrue.

1) I am not happy I am paying to listen to ads. If I were using Spotify free as a free member - sure, I support ads all the way. But again, I am not. WE are PAYING money to listen to ads. - Do you not see how messed up that is?

2) We are PAYING money to listen to ads we have no say in. E.g. Offensive ads, covid related, campaigning or other political issues, etc. Spotify cannot intervene with the content of these ads. This is not okay.

3) This opens floodgates for musicians to embed ads, which I also do not want.

4) No one is asking them to stop self-promo within their podcasts, i.e. promoting their Patron (where you can donate money if you truly want to support your Podcaster) or following them on Instagram, etc, I can't speak for all users but the mentioning of these do not bother me.