Spotify is testing a new feature allowing users to skip ads on its free service
At presents, ads on Spotify’s service cannot be skipped by free users. However, Spotify has quietly rolled out a feature called “Active Media” in Australia. Discussing the developments with Adage, Danielle Lee, Spotify’s Head of Partner Solutions, said “she compares the move to Spotify's "Discover Weekly" feature, which tailors a playlist to users' established listening habits. Unlimited ad skipping means Spotify users will be able to hear or watch just the ads they actually like, informing Spotify about their preferences in the process”.
"Our hypothesis is if we can use this to fuel our streaming intelligence, and deliver a more personalized experience and a more engaging audience to our advertisers, it will improve the outcomes that we can deliver for brands," Lee says. "Just as we create these personalized experiences like Discover Weekly, and the magic that brings to our consumers, we want to inject that concept into the advertising experience."
Spotify’s potential new ad model could be similar to the YouTube model. While some ads are unskippable, the majority can be skipped after 5 seconds of viewing. Despite seeming counterintuitive, ad-skipping functionality allows advertisers to target and re-target adverts to relevant demographics.
Whilst Spotify has been testing the feature in Australia, it is not yet clear whether it plans to roll “Active Media” out globally.