After a suspension in 2020, political ads on Spotify are making a return
Following upgrades to systems, tools, and processes on the backend, political ads on Spotify are back on the audio streaming platform. According to Spotify, these political adverts are claimed to only appear on their podcast network, not on the free music streaming tier.
Due to increasing criticism of the online dissemination of disinformation during the 2020 election, Spotify removed all political ads from the platform. As Protocol reports, the digital streaming platform issued a statement at the time, promising to improve its vetting process before bringing back political ads on Spotify.
“Following our pause of political ads in early 2020, we have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” said a Spotify spokesperson in a statement. “We are now beginning to sell select political advertisements in opted-in third-party podcasts via the Spotify Audience Network in the U.S.”
Those who listen to podcasts will be able to turn off political ads on Spotify. Besides that, the platform will only host ads by known political candidates and will not consider ads from issue-related groups and organizations. The corporation even sent out an internal memo stating that it will not condone this process, and that ads will not run in between songs for those streaming with a free subscription.
Even so, bringing political ads back to Spotify is sure to raise some eyebrows for a company that has already been through some conflicts this past year. While the company claims to aim to stop misinformation, there are reasons for doubt as other companies including Google and Meta have created public archives of their political ads. Also just this week, Meta made an announcement to allow researchers to access political ad targeting data. The future looks skeptical.