Help Wizard

Step 1


Spotify uses Ads before Podcasts although Premium Account

Spotify uses Ads before Podcasts although Premium Account






iPhone 7Plus


My Question or Issue

I am premium account member. Spotify states that premium accounts are "free of advertisements". But in 2020 Spotify started to insert ads before I can start any podcast. Support wrote, this was on purpose. Spotify would insert ads before podcasts. This is fraud. Clearly fraudulent. Spotify cannot sell "premium accounts" as "Advert-free" and then sell my user-data to place ads. Moreover this "Streaming Ad Insertion" violates my consumer rights. Never ever have I allowed Spotify to sell my data or to use my preferences to insert ads to my  p r e m i u m  account.

15 Replies

Hey there @Kate75!


Thanks for the question and welcome to our Community!


Spotify doesn't play advertisements for our Premium users but some podcasts may include ads in their content.


It's up to the podcast creators if they would like to have third-party advertising, host-read endorsements or sponsorship messages in their episodes. You can take a look at this Spotify Answer for more info.


You can also check this page out to see how to control what data is processed about you.


Hopefully this info helps. Give us a shout if there's anything else we can do for you.

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Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to say that this cannot be true. There is hard evidence for Spotify selling "targeted" ads/ marketing to the companies:


"the shift in consumption from downloads to streaming has opened the door for advances in data-driven podcast advertising, and here at Spotify, we’re moving beyond these constraints to reimagine what's possible for this uniquely powerful and intimate medium.

Introducing: Spotify Podcast Ads.

With a direct connection to millions of podcast listeners, best-in-class content, and a robust monetization platform, Spotify is uniquely positioned to make podcasts addressable for digital advertisers. Spotify Podcast Ads are powered by Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), which leverages streaming to deliver Spotify’s full digital suite of planning, reporting, and measurement capabilities. Spotify Podcast Ads offer the intimacy and quality of traditional podcast ads with the precision and transparency of modern-day digital marketing."


Whilst you say the commercials I had to listen to before my podcast started would be "the fault of the podcaster and not within reach of Spotify", I have two questions:


1) Why did the ad continue just where I stopped playing, when I started another podcast? Did those two podcasters communicate together to share their ads? Do not think so.

2) Why does Spotify proudly present "modern digital marketing" and provide those companies with user-data but still claims being totally innocent about the infection of podcasts with personalized ads to premium account members?


Spotify breaks the rules, at least Spotify should stand by their actions. It is a lame excuse because I have written evidence by Spotify Support themselves that these ads are placed by Spotify.



Thanks for getting back to us @Kate75!


Sorry for any misunderstanding here. To clear things up, Spotify doesn't place these ads into the podcast episode nor produce the advertisements.


It is fully up to the distributor of the podcast whether they would include their ad in a dynamic ad slot. 


We're always looking to support our creators in every way we can. This is why we're introducing this new tool that you mentioned. You can find even more info about it in the link that you posted.


Let us know if you have any other questions.

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Thank you again for your reply. Still I am not satisfied. Spotify sells my data when "supporting the creators" by providing my age, my habits, my interests, my location and so on to its advertisers.


Moreover I contacted the creators of the very podcasts I listened to. They do not include any commercials, ads or spots. They said it is a Spotify-thing only.


Spotify sells my personal data, Spotify enables ads, Spotify gets a lot of cash from those commercials/ads, Spotify -and only Spotify- forces me to listen to a "target-group-relevant" ad before I am allowed to start the podcast. Spotify even remembers if and when I stop that ad and try to start any other podcast and the ad is continued.


I took a screenshot of my account where Spotify does  n o t  only promise commercial-free music, but in general a totally commercial-free account! This includes  a n y   commercials. Since I am a lawyer I already took legal action against Spotify. This is fraud.

Yes exactly, it is not true!!!! The fact that they are trying to disguise this as "a thing the creators do" is disgusting. It is obvious and now well known that those adds are added by Spotify, if not manually by its "Intelligent Ads System", read this for more info


Instead of replying with nonsensical answers they should just say that this is a decision taken by management just for the sake of profit.

Well the technology is called SAI




Ever heard of it?


You should have, because it is your technology.


So when you say that those Ads aren't from you, Spotify, you are incorrect. Even the simple thing that this Ad insertion is used on Spotify originals should say alot...


So to be clearly here.
At my point of view it looks like two options what leads to your answer.

Option 1 you have no idea what you are talking about.

Option 2 you are lying.


Both options doesn't look very good.



hey there folks,


Thank you for your replies in this thread.


As @Elena mentioned - 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 messages.


Let us know if we can help you with anything else.


Take care!

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Live, love, laugh and listen to music 🙂

Greetings @Jeremy,


so you say, when a spotify original podcast plays.

Then suddenly gets stopped, mostly mid sentence, then another file gets played wich clearly states "Advertisement" in the title, which then advertises another podcast from spotify (In my case something with Obama and Bruce Springsteen), in another voice, audioquality and volume. And after that goes back to the played podcast to start where it gets disrupted.


You want to say that THAT is "host read" or a "sponsorship messege"?


You really want to say that a podcast made explicit for spotify, which has injected advertisment, in form of another Title/Song/Data, which can only be streamed by spotify because the audiostream comes from spotify, which makes advertisement for another Spotify Original Podcast, is NOT from Spotify?


Are you realy sure about that?



Because that seems very unplausible.


Like "Facebook has never ever lost or sold Date from it's users" unplausible.


I want to state that I don't have a problem when a podcaster says something like "This Podcast is presented/ sponsored by blah blah blah etc."

Or when the podcaster adds an advertisement audio into his podcast.

You know why? Because I can understand that you as a platform can't controll every piece of audio in a podcast. That's ok. Maybe you don't even want to.

And in addition to that, when the podcaster does that, I can skip it with those little timeskips which are the normal option in podcasts.


Those injected ads from Spotify itself. Streamed as a different title which disrups the podcast midsentence.

You know what happens when you try to skip them?

They don't skip. They may jump one ore two times a few seconds and when you hit the end of this ad and skip further, they start again.

It start again. All over. Just so you can fully enjoy this unpleasent, annoyoing, mostly too loud piece of audiowaste again.


So not only are you violating the premium deal which has as one mainpart the point "Ad Free" you are explicit anger the user.


With regards


In addition to what I said, I want to say that I am sorry for the seemingly quite aggressive tone.
The problem is it is annoying as **bleep** that those ads are in the daily drive playlist. They are explicit in those Spotify Originals and sometimes even make Advertisements for other Spotify Original Podcasts.

If I would be a free user, this habbit would be normal (besides that a free user doesn't get the daily drive playlist)
But I am one of many premium users which now get annoyed with those ads which we don't want to have to listen to. We explicit pay for an adfree experience.
And Spotify violates this deal with those ads.

I may got a bit carried away with my other response, but you should not say that spotify doesn't make those ads, when you are clearly doing it.
Because 1st it is not true and you as a moderator shouldn't make not true statements.
2nd it was even mentioned in some articles in online media, that spotify even advertises to companies that spotify now can make specific advertisements to premium users and sell analysis data from those ads.

With Regards

Hello Jeremy, 


i am also affected by this problem with ADS. This as mentioned by other users, this is not a part of the podcast itself. The ads are added as a separate audio streams which are interrupting original content. Even your support told me about SAI. How i see it, you advertised ad free service with premium, then you created this "feature" to increase revenue. I would accept if the content creator adds promo window within the stream itself and that you have no control over it but this is something else. Youtube is doing same thing but with premium account, my content is not interrupted which is not the case with Spotify. I was falsely lead to believe that premium is add free. Please advise me where in user agreement have i accepted adds with premium account. I am suffering adds for some time thinking its temporary bug only to see that its a way how incentive from spotify to further increase revenue from paying users. I have been lie to and this change was not properly announced to me. If you want to add advertisement to ad free paid service it defeats the purpose of such paid service. Trying to put that on content creators disgraceful. 

Hey @iPayToNotHaveAd,


We understand your frustration. You can have a look at thisIdea Thread for more info on the topic.


Hope this helps.

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Dear @Alex,

to be clear. That idea you linked was about how to get rid of advertisments from the podcaster himself.

That this feat is quite difficult is understandable.


But... at least some of us in this thread are complaining about the new thing spotify does. That is SAI.

SAI are not ads that are "woven" into the podcast SAI ads are seperate files which get played in the podcast. Midstream of the podcast.

And to be realy clear about those SAI Ads... those Ads vanish if you download the podcast and listen to it offline.


But I have found another very effective solution for this advertising BS. Just don't play ANY spotify studio podcast. At least in germany it gets rid of 100% of those ads wich spotify claims that it doesn't have controll over because it gets included by the podcaster which is... spotify studios...


So to be once more clear, mark my words. What at least some of us here mention is the SAI System, which defeats the purpose of the premium account.
SAI isn't woven into the podcast. SAI makes a blunt lie out of the adfree premium account promise.

AND SAI is made, used and controlled by spotify. Spotify even advertises it to companies because it is so effective in generating measurable feedback.


So a closed Idea that got denied because it would be too difficult to do, which goes around the topic of podcaster read ads or ads that get added from the podcaster into the podcast, isn't even close of being helpfull.


You know what is way more funny? The SAI System Ads would be even quite simple to get rid of. Since it is your own system you could simply turn it off and keep your part of the bargain again. Which you ,since started the SAI System till now, clearly don't feel like.

Hi Alex,


unfortunately due to error on this page my first longer comment was deleted. Nevertheless VenterraZero summed it up nicely. What i am wondering about is whether i have accepted it unknowingly in any user agreement or you have went beyond any agreements and forced ads on paying users without their consent.  Therefore please show me where it is written in user agreement that i will have ads on paid service which is at least for me clearly advertised as free of ADs. There are further institutions who can decide whether this behavior of spotify is according to law. I don't think EU would by inclined to such market practices.


Hi Alex, anyone from spotify,


Shall i expect answer or am i going to be ignored as multiple queries above that are not happy to agree Spotify's notion to increase revenues disregarding what they promised for premium accounts for paying users? I am not very happy that only option to submit a problem is this forum and there is no bug/problem tracking either.



Unhappy paying user

I am amazed how useless support for payed service can be. Spitting lies and half truths just to later ignore the stream. Good job spotify...really good job.

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