I've been having a lot of problems with Spotify - more specifically, with the ads, and how they're implemented.
Now, as I'm using the free version, I'm completely aware of the need for adverts, and don't mind listening to them, but they are designed and integrated very poorly.
First of all, the sporadic ads. Occasionally I'll get an unexpected advert, starting off with the Spotify jingle and a male voice introducing the upcoming ad and telling me to "click here to listen". The advert itself isn't my problem, but the introduction. The ads typically last up to 30 seconds, which is fine, but the introduction will take 30 seconds too. I would much rather the ad just started playing rather than being informed that they are about to play an ad, because this increases the 30 second ad break to a full minute. The advert is often followed up by a 10 seconds of "Thanks for watching, now click here for more information". If I wanted more information, I would just click during the ad. However, Spotify are adding an extra 40 seconds of unnecessary commentary.
Secondly, the option to listen to an ad for 30 minutes of ad free music: the introduction telling me to "click here to listen" would first kick in. As I said, I would rather the ad just played before introducing it first, because I can't always reach my phone to click to play the ad - I may be listening while running, or in the shower. However this also gives the impression that it's possible to skip the ad if I don't agree to play it. Previously, if I didn't get my phone out the click play, it would rightly assume that I didn't want to listen and would continue with music. More recently, however, I wouldn't get my phone out to click to play, yet it would just play the advert anyway. If this is the case, I'd much rather the ad played in the first place rather than wasting my time with the 30 second jingle and then still playing the ad anyway. This is in addition to times where it would actively give me the option to skip the ad, and often when I select that option, it would play the ad anyway.
Finally, my last complaint is the least annoying, but arguably the worst. There have been times where I would be asked to listen to an ad for 30 minutes of ad-free music, which I would accept, yet after listening another ad would play 5-10 minutes later anyway. If you're going to play ads at irregular intervals, please don't deceive me and tell me I have 30 minutes of ad-free music when I don't. In addition, there have been times where I would click the button opting to skip an ad, and it would then play an introduction for 30 minutes of ad free music before playing an unskippable ad. Why let me skip the ad in the first place? In both of these instances, I just shut down the app and deny your ad revenue.
Overall, the ads are horrendously implemented, and give me the impression that Spotify is trying to "annoy" me into purchasing a subscription. I'm not sure if the app is broken, or deceptive, but there are numerous way to rectify this. The main one I would propose is to scrap the introductory jingle informing me of the impending advert. I don't need to know about that as it wastes my time: just play the ad. I even wouldn't mind two ads at a time, because at least that's more productive. In addition to this, the ads should be set at regular intervals. 20-30 minutes or every 5 songs, then continue with uninterrupted music.
I feel like these amendments would not only allow for much more logical advert plays, but would be more effective in generating ad revenue, whilst also not annoying free listeners that will just take their listening elsewhere.