Spotify has begun testing a ‘sponsored song’ ad unit that enables labels to pay to promote singles to those on Spotify’s free membership.
As confirmed by TechCrunch, the ads don’t appear in the form of banners like traditional Spotify ads, instead they can appear on playlists or in search results while browsing the platform for music. The ads are targeted to match the listening tastes of the user, and can be instantly played or saved instead of requiring an ad click.
Currently, in the test version, users can toggle sponsored songs on and off through their settings. It is unclear if this will change if Spotify rolls out the feature more widely – though it is likely those who attempt to turn it off in the future will be asked to pay for a Premium membership.
The sponsored songs feature doesn’t seem like it would be one that would be too intrusive, or annoy free users a great deal. The ads won’t take up a heap of space and can be easily ignored. At the end of the day, Spotify has to find ways to make money off its free members as well.