Premium Means No Ads. So WHY Podcast ads?

Premium Means No Ads. So WHY Podcast ads?









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.

39 Replies


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-JSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.


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.





Hey @Montesi,


You are right, that the ads within the podcasts are integrated. This means that they are put there by the content creator themselves. Spotify can't alter the content of the artists and supply it to users in the same form, as received.


As a Premium subscriber, you won’t receive any ads from Spotify, but from third parties, endorsed by the content creators. If you have an issue with these ads, then I’d recommend reaching out directly to the podcast creators. There is also some more information on ads in podcasts in this Spotify Answer.

Billy-JSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.




Your response is absolutely ludicrous. So you are *seriously* suggesting I reach out to every single podcast creator and ask them to remove their income stream by discontinuing ads? It really shows how insanely out of touch you are on this subject.


If a podcast gets advertising dollars for an integrated ad that is a part of the actual podcast, and Spotify creates metadata cues that go into place for Premium users...please keep in mind here when I say "Premium users" I mean customers of Spotify who pay a monthly subscription price to not hear ads...that bypass said integrated ads because there have been markers at the beginning and end of the adspace in the content, the podcasters who got paid for those ads STILL get paid for those ads. Because they are STILL integrated in the content.


But I as a Spotify Premium user...please try to remember that means I have paid my monthly fee not to hear the ads...don't hear those ads. Because Spotify has created metadata in its platform, which they have complete control over, that bypasses those ads automatically for me.


On a very related note, your previous response about Spotify not actually putting ads in is incorrect. I will use "The Journal." by The Wall Street Journal & Gimlet as an example. When it cuts to a commercial break in those podcasts in Spotify, even for Premium users, the content playing SWITCHES from the podcast to a completely different piece of content that is labeled as "Advertisement" with it's own playbar, runtime, and title. After the ad plays, Spotify switches it BACK to the podcast I had actually played, picking up where it left off. That IS Spotify doing it, no matter who endorsed its doing. 


I have included two screenshots of this as proof.


I just want to know, at what point is Spotify going to either admit that Premium users are in fact going to be subjected to ads, even though the selling point for Premium was exactly the opposite, or do something about it and actually give Premium users the experience they promised when taking our subscription money every month?

Spotify Podcast Screenshot.PNG
Spotify Podcast Screenshot Advertisement.PNG


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. Advertising is very much tied to the traditional podcast listening experience that has worked well for both creators and listeners in the past. So, even as a Premium member, you may hear advertising or sponsorship messages within the episodes.


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. 

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate an answer, maybe give it a Like.
Are you new to the Community? Take a moment to introduce yourself!




I don't know where the disconnect is with you all, but I was never looking for any clarification on getting ads on Spotify. Believe me, I know I'm listening to them.


The part ALL of you at Spotify REFUSE to address is that us PREMIUM members aren't supposed to be hearing any ads at all, dynamic ad or not.


Here's where I'm coming from. As a premium user, I shouldn't even have to know the difference between an integrated ad or a dynamic ad. The agreement between me paying Spotify a monthly fee is LITERALLY that I DO NOT HEAR ADS.


METADATA. To bypass integrated ads. I KNOW SOMEONE at Spotify has heard of it.


Elena, Billy, EVERYONE else at Spotify. Quit avoiding the actual issue I am bringing up. Tell me why I'm hearing ads as a Premium user. And tell me how you are going to get rid of them. Integrated or Dynamic. 




Looks like this is one of those things Spotify is sweeping under the rug because it's more profitable to lie to customers and make sure there are as many revenue streams as possible?


Dear Montesi I agree with what you are saying. I'm tired of paying a premium for no advertisings, listening to podcasts and hearing a lot of sponsered content. Some podcasts play ads beginning middle and end of shows as standard and it's super annoying. If this happened with the music there'd be uproar. So, as my listening is now mostly podcast releated, I'm thinking of switching over to a better quality podcast provider if this isn't resolved, which is a pity as I used to quite like Spotify.



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.


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. 



Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate an answer, maybe give it a Like.
Are you new to the Community? Take a moment to introduce yourself!


You are absolutely correct. Hearing ads on my Spotify premium is absolutely disgusting. The reason I have been a customer of Spotify premium for over 5 years is that so I NEVER EVER have to hear any ads while I'm listening to music. The fact that they have implemented a way to force us to listen to ads anyway makes me sick. I switched to Spotify for my podcast-listening this year, and now I can't even use it to listen to some of the podcasts I want to check out, because I get bombarded with ads all of a sudden.


Just IMAGINE how annoying it is to listen to a spooky mysterious podcast and then suddenly get interrupted by a stupid ad about some stupid medical service!! 


I hate this feature and unless it gets fixed for us premium users I can never suggest anyone to use Spotify, let alone use it to listen to podcasts anymore myself.


It is absolutely horrendous!


Hey @Willewiking!


We appreciate your feedback as it helps inform our decisions going forward and we're sorry to hear you feel this way.


There is an active idea here about changing this behavior of the app here. You can leave a +Vote to support it.


The Community team talks with various other Spotify teams several times a month about ideas that have reached top status. Learn more here.


Hope this info helps. We'll be here if there's anything else we can do for you.

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate an answer, maybe give it a Like.
Are you new to the Community? Take a moment to introduce yourself!


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


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. 



Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
Live, love, laugh and listen to music 🙂


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.



If Spotify created the option for "dynamic ads" to be played during the podcasts.... then Spotify can make it so that option doesn't play for premium users.


Your response makes no sense.

Spotify: "We've created an option that plays ads to everyone listening to podcasts"

Premium Users: "Change it so it only plays for free users"

Spotify: "Sorry, the option was selected by the content creators. There's nothing we can do."

Suggested posts

Env: prod