Spotify has announced that, for the first time, record companies (and other industry players) will soon be able to pay to have their artists promoted to targeted fans within the Spotify ecosystem via a ‘Brand New Music For You’ pop-up visual ad. This feature will be across both free and premium (paid) tiers.
Spotify’s upcoming full-screen paid ad trial sounds a lot like the way labels and artists currently shell out to get in front of fans in sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram, and will surely agitate some, even if it is a feature that some approve of. Premium members will be able to disable the feature should they choose to do so, but it doesn’t seem as if free tier users will have any recourse.
These cards already exist, organically alerting fans of artists on Spotify when a major new release has arrived, thanks to a combination of your listening history and human curation. But soon labels will be able to shape which fans see what by digging into their wallets.
Another critical aspect to all of this: Premium Spotify users will be able to turn off sponsored ‘Music For You’ alerts, but free users will be stuck with them.
In declaring the test, Spotify said that based on interviews conducted with premium members and shout outs on Twitter, “Listeners seem to like” the current recommendation feature.
Full-screen ads don’t sound appealing, but if they are genuinely in tune with your music tastes and help you discover new albums from your favourite artists, they might not be so bad.
Spotify didn’t specify when the test would begin, only noting to “Lookout for this new feature the next time one of your favourite artists drops their next release.”