Spotify may start sliding sponsored songs into your playlists

As a new experiment, they're allowing record companies to sponsor songs in the playlists of free-tier users

It’s no secret that Spotify needs money. The streaming juggernaut recently tried to entice more subscribers by inking deals that enforce a two-week paywall for some new albums. Now, BBC reports that it’s experimenting — as pretty much all media companies must do in this age — with sponsored content.

The streaming company is currently running a small trial that allows music labels to promote songs by adding them to the playlists of free-tier users as sponsored content. The good news is that, as of now, users can opt out of this feature via the settings. As The Verge notes, this is the first feature that facilitates the promotion of individual songs, though brands can currently sponsor playlists.

BBC spoke to Mark Mulligan, managing director of Midia research, who said, “This is not the silver bullet but instead part of what will be a multi-faceted answer to Spotify’s margin woes. In a broader context, this may presage a wider strategy similar to that of Facebook’s, whereby it effectively starts charging artists and labels for access to fans.”

In a statement, Spotify said, “We are always testing new promotional tools that deliver the highest relevancy to our users.” The company is also reportedly toying with the idea of going public and entering the stock market.


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