Premium Means No Ads. So WHY Podcast ads?


Premium Means No Ads. So WHY Podcast ads?

Music Fan








iPhone 8


Operating System

iOS 13


My Question or Issue

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.


Hey @Montesi!


Thanks for posting about this on our Community!


We'll be happy to explain a bit more about this. Spotify gives the podcast hosts the option to choose if they would like to have a dynamic ad slot in their podcast.


You can find more info on this here. We understand that many of the creators that you're listening to seem to be using that option but that is not something Spotify can control - it's up to the individual podcast owners if they choose to have that type of ad in their content.


We see that you have posted an idea about changing that and it's marked as new which means that people can vote for it and show their support.


You can learn more about how ideas reach the right teams here.


Hope this explains the situation. We'll be here if you have any other questions. 

34 Replies

I agree this **bleep** been a subscriber for 5+ years and am a premium subscriber now. If this keeps up I’m out

Same here. I doubt it will really change anything as they have millions of subscribers.


I'm still in the premium trial period and came here following (JRE) and given what I've seen and the response to it I can't agree to pay a premium price just to get ads. If I'm going to get ads and interruptions then I might as well use the free version and get what I pay for.

Casual Listener
Listen to this person.
If you ever have doubts about paying for Spotify Premium, just look up all the very simple issues that haven't been resolved for 3, 5, 7 +.
Its a complete joke, with the amount of money and dev power those people have.

Look up the problems like repeating the same songs over and over again. It has been happening for many years. You could basically learn how to make a shuffle function in an hour.

Spotifys best tactic is to have this forum where people shout and vent their frustration and have an illusion of something being done. Spotify is trash.


Hey everyone,


Thanks for reaching out and voicing your opinion.


We understand where you're coming from and will make sure all your feedback reaches the right teams. That being said, we need to be able to accurately gather data on this particular request and we don't think that this thread is contributing to this goal.


In an effort to bring more visibility to this topic and explain it thoroughly, we have floated this reply by @Elena which has information regarding how the ads you encounter in podcasts come about. There you will also find a link to this idea that requests that all such ads are removed for Premium users. You can add your support there, we'll inform on any developments in the Status Update, as soon as there are any. 

We want to focus the discussion in the linked idea and gather quantitative data from everyone's votes. We also want to ensure the information provided here does not go under. As such, we'll be closing this thread off for future comments. If you want to post to contribute on the topic, please do so as described above.

Thank you.

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“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” - Keith Richards


I totally agree @Montesi ! This is BS. I'm from Germany and all big podcasts that reached a certain size started all of the sudden to put in commercials. This move made them unreliable. #gemischteshack #festundflauschig #baywatchberlin and so on.. I understand it's all business and they have the right to earn money how they want. But I'm not stupid to pay money to get commercials. So basically I stopped listening to them and their endless commercial BS. The only big one left is JoeRogan who got s##t lot of money. I hope he will not become greedy and start commercials too. Why can't I block these Podcasts like an artist I really don't understand. RAGE. Please Spotify add at least this function.  


Why is there nothing being done on this issue? Spotify has done 0% to correct this problem. Just sending a reply is not a solution. We want to know why we are paying for ad free entertainment but this receiving ads. It’s super simple! 


What is the deal? Why am I getting ads with a family premium account?? I hate being lied to. "Dynamic ads"?? give me a break. What is dynamic about them? They are ads


I just encountered this also for the first time. Im not a podcast listener but decided to try to get into it tonight and put a comedy podcast on while in the bath. Nice and relaxed then it happens, by the comedians themselves. At first I thought it was a joke, a sketch but it carried on, several of them. So angry, I pay for premium to have no ads, so why are they there. Outrageous, rip off and a lie. Joke. Really spoilt it. Two years or more I have been paying for premium to not ruin my listening experience with advertisements, this is an absolute con. SORT IT OUT SPOTIFY YOU CHEAP MONEY GRABBING RIP OFF MERCHANTS


Hey there folks,


Thank you for your posts and feedback.


We're constantly aiming to improve our features so we hope you’ll continue using it and find it gets better in the future. 


You can read more about how your feedback reach Spotify here.


Once again - thanks for the feedback, we appreciate it. 



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Casual Listener


First off, I 100% agree that premium users should not be forced to see ads. Second, I understand the position spotify is in is not great since taking out the ads could cause Podcasters to avoid promoting spotify or cause them to pull their content off spotify all together. 

SOLUTION (for premium users only): Offline mode. That's it, just download a few dozen episodes and set it to offline mode. No ads, unless the podcast is old enough to use the old standard (non-dynamic) method of embedding the ads into the actual recording. The idea behind dynamic ads relies on a continuous connection to the internet, cut off the internet (which is a premium only feature) and the podcast has no way of communicating with its ad servers. I've tested this out on many shows, it's inconvenient but it works.

Music Fan

That doesn't fix the integrated ads problem. So, it's technically NOT a solution.

Casual Listener

Hi, thanks for your reply but this doesn't work for me on my phone and the desktop version won't allow downloading.


Hi there @Loopmoth,

Thanks for bringing this up.


Downloading podcasts is not currently possible on the Desktop version, but you should be able to do it on Mobile. Check this article for more info. If downloading podcasts doesn't work for you on the Mobile app, give us more info on what's happening exactly. 



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Rock Star 24
Rock Star 24

Hey @Montesi, thanks for reaching out to the Community!


I completely understand your concern, as I also listen to podcasts on Spotify. 


What the customer service rep said is correct. While Spotify doesn’t play ads that interrupt the music listening experience of Premium subscribers, some podcast creators may include third-party advertising, host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages in their episodes.


If this is something you’d like to see change in the future, you can add your +VOTE and feedback to this Idea here. I’ll also pass your feedback on to the right folks. 


Let me know if you need anything else.

Billy-JRock Star 24
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Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

Music Fan

This is not true. I’m a Premium member and you all are interjecting ads into the middle of podcasts. They stop the podcast, run their course, then return users to the podcast. I expect them up front, but right in the middle? No thank you, especially since I pay for your service to begin with.

Casual Listener

Spotify is 100% inserting ads into podcasts for premium subscribers. If I look at my phone when it happens its treated as a separate audio track that isn't part of the podcast episode. This is not host-read ad copy. The hosts haven't hacked the app to insert these ads. It's Spotify. If creators are selecting some option for ads to be inserted the ads should only show up for free users. This is a Spotify issue not a podcast host issue.



@HotGuac wrote:

Spotify is 100% inserting ads into podcasts for premium subscribers. If I look at my phone when it happens its treated as a separate audio track that isn't part of the podcast episode. This is not host-read ad copy. The hosts haven't hacked the app to insert these ads. It's Spotify. If creators are selecting some option for ads to be inserted the ads should only show up for free users. This is a Spotify issue not a podcast host issue.

Yes, this is certainly the case. I listen to Irish podcasts and I live in Sweden. There are ads for McDondalds Sweden (in Swedish) in the middle of my podcast from Ireland.

I've been a premium customer for almost a decade. I am currently exploring alternative streaming platforms.

Music Fan


Music Fan

You get no 'like' and this is absolutely not an acceptable solution. Your reply is just more gloss-over garbage, like the response I got from Spotify Customer Service. 


Spotify Premium users want strong action regarding getting rid of ads. It is LITERALLY the main reason customers pay for the service. Otherwise why do it?


And please spare me, what I am suggesting is well within Spotify's capability. It is in no way unethical or hindering the "listening experience". I pay Spotify every month so I don't hear ads. I am now currently hearing ads. While Spotify continues to take my money. It is that simple.


Billy, if there is anything else I need from you, it is to keep your pandering to yourself. You say you are not an employee, but you sure sound like one.


I, like a lot of Spotify Premium users, want Spotify to honor their part of the agreement. NO ADS, integrated into the content or not. Require metadata to be given along with each episode of a podcast, or create it yourself.


I have no idea why I am getting any sort of pushback from Spotify on this topic, other than maybe its easier to play both sides against the other? Or they don't want to upset the podcast creators? At the end of the day, Spotify should have its Premium users' interests at the forefront. I am not seeing that with this issue.