Spotify’s free ad-supported tier has been controversial in the past over concerns about how much gets paid out to artists, but the company is purportedly planning to make changes that would allow users to skip ads in which they are uninterested…

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Spotify explained to AdAge that this feature, which it calls “Active Media,” is currently being tested in Australia. With Active Media, users are able to skip as many audio and video ads as they want until they get to one that they find interesting. In doing this, Spotify hopes that users will listen to and watch more ads that they find interesting.

Spotify’s global head of partner solutions Danielle Lee likens Active Media to the service’s popular “Discovery Weekly” feature. Lee explains that Spotify will be able to learn more about a user’s ad preferences based on which ones they skip and which ones they listen to, ultimately allowing it to sell more targeted advertisements:

“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.”

Under this program Spotify says that advertisers won’t have to pay for any ads that are skipped – but it hopes that it will be able to charge more for the ads as they become more targeted.

As a byproduct of this, Spotify says users will also be able to get back to listening to music quicker. In theory, this is a move that makes sense as it listening to one better targeted, and therefore more expensive ad would perhaps mean users would have to listen to fewer ads overall.

Spotify is currently testing Active Media in Australia, and if things go well, it’s likely the feature will expand globally.


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