Commercials should be no louder than the median volume of the last song played.
Submitted byjd986on2013-01-2009:43 PM
There I am, sitting in my office, enjoying a beautiful rendition of Brahms Intermezzo in B-flat minor. It's peaceful. It's serene. Suddenly, "AT ADVANCE AUTO PARTS WE DON'T JUST ... " Oh my God, everyone is staring! " ... WE GO FULL THROTTLE!!!" The same way the volume goes to full throttle at commercial?
I am aware that advertisements have been louder than the base medium for decades, but the problem is we aren't as stupid as our parents. Sorry, mom and dad, but you had the opportunity to do something about loud commercials when you first heard them 500 years ago. The point is we don't have to put up with them and we know it. We have many more alternatives now than ever in history including vast stores of personal music as well as competing broadcasters.
I can already hear the responses: "If you don't like the commercials then you should buy a subscription." I actually don't mind commercials. I mind the increase in volume. The ads are so loud that I feel harassed. They are jarring, grating, and at best disrespectful of the user. The image that comes to mind is Spotify putting a gun to my head and saying, "You know we wouldn't be in this situation if you would just hand over the money." I refuse to financially support a company that tries bully its customers into subscriptions. That is not a user-friendly practice. On the contrary it's user-hostile. I should emphasize that my refusal of support includes exiting Spotify which causes Spotify to lose out on an entire afternoon of visual and auditory ads.
Some users support Spotify by purchasing a subscription. Other users support Spotify by allowing themselves to be subject to advertisements. Both should be viable listening options.
The remedy is simple. Be courteous to your customers. Respect your users' environments by respecting the volume levels they set. Commercials should be no louder than the median volume of the last song played. If that were the case, I would listen to Spotify all day. I can also guarantee that I would feel much more inclined to purchase a subscription if I thought I was was doing business with a company that treated it's users with empathy and consideration.
Having said this, I have to say that I doubt this issue will be taken seriously. Businesses don't do things just for the sake of being nice to their customers anymore. We don't expect for-profit companies to set good examples.