Spotify To “Pause” Political Advertisements In 2020

On Friday, Spotify announced that it will stop featuring political ads on its free-tier streaming service or in its own exclusive content. This announcement will come as a relief to many as there has been widespread concern regarding political disinformation since the 2016 US presidential election. 
“Beginning in early 2020, Spotify will pause the selling of political advertising. This will include political advertising content in our ad-supported tier and in Spotify original and exclusive podcasts,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement to AFP. “At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content. We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”
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Spotify’s third-quarter earnings from this year showed that it makes the majority of its revenue from its 113 million paying subscribers, but there are about 141 million users on its free service. The new policy will only affect the United States since that’s the only market where it sells political ads and will still allow political ads in third-party content, such as podcasts not produced by Spotify. It will be implemented sometime early next year, but the statement suggests that the ban could be lifted once the company establishes proper processes to vet these ads.
Ad Age, which first reported the news, said Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the Republican National Committee have both advertised on Spotify. Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitch have all banned political ads from their platforms. Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Reddit, on the other hand, continue to accept them. 
Spotify, in collaboration with Complex, is producing a podcast centred on Tekashi 6ix9ine, which is set to release in January and will likely not feature any political ads. 


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