Using Spotify's rich data, the streamer can deliver sponsored tracks that fit each listener's taste. Users appear to be able to opt out of receiving sponsored songs by toggling a "sponsored song" button in the desktop and mobile Spotify apps' settings, but it is not clear yet if users of Spotify's free service will be able to do this once the trial is complete. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that this is actually "a product test for labels to promote singles o the free tier".
User Liam Maloney first discovered the Sponsored Songs feature while streaming from his favorite playlist.
It'll be interesting to see how Spotify customers react to the new Sponsored Songs feature.
Call Me by NEIKED featured as a Sponsored Song in a Spotify playlist.
Spotify offers users two ways of listening to music: either via a free tier in which users have no control over music playback and have to listen to ads, or a paid tier in which for a monthly subscription fee, they can listen to whatever they want, save songs for offline listening, and more.
With Spotify's 2016 financials out in the open as of last week and showing increasingly heavy losses, Spotify is no doubt looking at every avenue it can to increase ad revenue, and it seems that the latest of these are "Sponsored Songs".
It's not like you'll get a dose of Bruno Mars thrown in while you're listening to Metallica, but the "pay to play" infiltration is unlikely to go over too well with Spotify Free users. It is unclear if this will change if Spotify rolls out the feature more widely - though it is likely those who attempt to turn it off in the future will be asked to pay for a Premium membership. It could count number of listens, shares or impressions, as pointed out by Complex.
The "sponsored song" method does throw up some new problems though. Not only will this generate some revenues from streaming, but it will also lead to more sales of concert tickets and merchandise, as pointed out by Digital Trends. This can be done by going to "Display Options" and finding "Show sponsored songs".