Spotify bans all ad-blockers

Isaac Cain
February 10, 2019

Users' acceptance of the new terms "will be deemed to have been granted if you continue to use the Spotify service after the effective date", the company said. "Spotify learns from each engagement, fueling a more personalized ad experience".

An eMarketer report previous year said that a quarter of USA internet users, or about 70 million people, deploy ad blockers. First, it's the premium account, which is available with a fee and provides unlimited music with no ads, and then, it's the free version that lets you listen to music without paying but with ads between songs.

According to the new rules, "circumventing or blocking advertisements" as well as "creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements" is now prohibited. Spotify began to control by disabling such accounts when it detects any abnormal activity.

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It's hard to blame Spotify for this: users paying for the service and the ads served to free customers contribute to their income (and this is where the money they pay artists and labels comes from).

For a person who loves music, that meant losing heaps and heaps of playlists, saved items, and other content. When the new terms of service come into force on March 1, Spotify will instantly ban users who are avoiding ads. In doing so, the user is requested to switch off the adblocker if they wish to make use of the streaming service again.

Spotify also announced this week that it was making significant headway on its podcasting ambitions by acquiring Anchor and Gimlet Media, the latter of which includes podcasts such as Reply All and Crimetown.

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