Remove ads, unlock a dark mode theme, and get other perks by upgrading your account. Experience the website the way it's meant to be.

Spotify ‘Sponsored Songs’ Lets Labels Pay for Plays

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch:

    Spotify is now testing a new “Sponsored Song” ad unit that a company spokesperson tells us is “a product test for labels to promote singles on the free tier.”

    Instead of appearing as obvious ad banners like Spotify’s existing ads, labels can pay to have Sponsored Songs appear on playlists you follow or potentially elsewhere on the service. These can be targeted to appear to users with matching listening tastes so they fit alongside their other music. And these Sponsored Songs will be instantly playable and saveable instead of requiring an initial ad click first.

    It’s an interesting idea. My first thought was that music listeners really fucking hate when people mess with their playlists/catalog, but I wonder how many of those die-hard music listeners don’t already subscribe to the paid tier of Spotify to begin with? (The paid tier doesn’t have these ads.) A few places are referring to this practice as “payola:”

    This is the basic equivalent of payola, the old and illegal tactic where labels would pay radio stations to play their music. If the advertised songs are clearly labeled as paid advertisements, Spotify’s feature might be technically legal, but the effect will basically be the same.

    I don’t think I’d go that far.

  2. workingmandan


    Damn this is interesting. I mean, if I was on the free Spotify tier I guess I'd rather have a promoted song be played in a "break" rather than an advertisement for Target? As a label owner this seems like a cool idea to be able to promote native-ly rather than directing to spotify from ads on say Facebook or Youtube. Would help conversion monumentally I think.
    Raku likes this.
  3. Spotify is trash. Apple Music is so much better it's hilarious.
  4. Steve_JustAGuy


    Rapid thought is that if it's on the free tier I don't have a huge issue with it, but I'd have to think on it more.
  5. Malatesta

    i may get better but we won't ever get well Prestigious

    eeeeeh sounds horrible. i mean, as far as "being an ad" goes, a song that's ostensibly catered to you isn't bad, but also, it's a three minute ad and companies are paying services to artificially/manually bolster its listener count, so no thanks.
    Raku likes this.
  6. Nick

    @fangclubb Prestigious

    Whatever gets people to stop using the free tier I guess.
  7. heymattrick

    Pool Boy at the Vampire Mansion

    I've always wondered if when I put my iPhone on shuffle, if there's some sort of algorithm that plays purchased music by certain artists more often than others for similar reasons.
    Raku, slickdtc and Mr. Serotonin like this.
  8. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Everyone always forgets that payola was only illegal if the payment wasn't out in the open. People love to throw the word around in this industry, but a disclosed sponsorship is nothing like payola - it's just advertising.
    slickdtc, Jason Tate and latortuga like this.
  9. contra11mundum

    I hate spoilers. Supporter

    Can you explain what's better about Apple Music? Legitimately asking. I used to get Spotify Premium free through work and now I just continue to pay for it because I'm used to it. I've been thinking about switching to Apple Music. Just trying to figure out if it's actually worth the switch.
    Raku likes this.
  10. Shrek

    human skin truck baby Prestigious

    The hyperbole here and in a good half of your posts is more hilarious lol. I've dabbled in both and they both have strengths and weaknesses.
  11. Callum Macleod

    Do or do not, there is no try.

    I personally prefer AM but "Trash" seems overly harsh, opinions and all that though. I find myself switching between the two - discover more music via Spotify and the playlists are much better IMO. However, I much prefer the control over my collection that Apple gives me. I can see exactly what is downloaded offline and easily remove downloaded music, can add my own music that isn't available - god send for b-sids etc., find creating my own playlists to be a much better experience on AM as well. Prefer the UI as well on AM - album view is also much, much better imo.
  12. Spenny


    Honestly, the main reason I hate AM is because the UI/UX is horrendous. Has it changed at all in the past three or four months? I tried to love Apple Music but it was so tedious to use.
    Raku likes this.
  13. Callum Macleod

    Do or do not, there is no try.

    Hasn't changed in that time, nope.
    Spenny likes this.
  14. slickdtc

    Regular Supporter

    I'm okay with this. This seems like the opposite of the services paying big names to curate playlists. Now the services will be paid for "curated" (paid adverts) songs being added to playlists.

    I've always been okay with sponsored posts and stuff online as long as it's clearly labeled. I understand why there's a need to make money off something a lot of people don't want to pay for. It will go away if they don't.
    Raku likes this.