Bottom line: Spotify's upcoming full-screen paid ad trial is sure to rub some the wrong way, 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.
Spotify will soon be trialing a new feature in the US in which artists can pay to sponsor full-screen recommendations (essentially pop-ups) in the Spotify mobile app, across both free and premium (paid) tiers.
These full-screen recommendations aren’t new, mind you, but up to this point, they’ve been based on a combination of your listening history and human curation. With the test, they’ll partially be driven by whichever artists are willing to pay for the attention.
Spotify notes that the paid recommendations will still be powered by your music taste, meaning you will only see notifications from artists you frequently listen to or follow. What’s more, premium subscribers can turn them off if they wish.
In announcing 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 truly in tune with your music tastes and help you discover new albums from your favorite artists, they might not be so bad.
Spotify didn’t specify when the test would begin, only noting to “look out for this new feature the next time one of your favorite artists drops their next release.”
Masthead credit: Spotify logo by Maquette.pro