In its quest to turn a profit, Spotify is searching for new revenue streams and it may have just found a winner: sponsored songs.
The streaming service began testing its new Sponsored Songs feature, which lets record labels promote tracks by automatically adding them to listeners’ playlists, this week. The feature is supposed to only affect users of Spotify’s free tier, but some paying subscribers report that it’s happening to them too.
Spotify confirmed it is testing the sponsored songs feature this week. While the company says it’s only in the testing phase, some paying Spotify subscribers have become disgruntled after seeing song advertisements pop up in their playlists.
Sponsored songs are supposed to appear at the top of playlists, but Spotify doesn’t provide any indication that the song is sponsored. Before you play the song, it will say “this is a sponsored song.”
It’s unclear how much labels are paying for the new advertisements, but it appears they can target listeners based on their musical tastes.
— Dr Liam Maloney (@liamtmaloney) June 19, 2017
The new feature should help Spotify squeeze more money out of users on its free tier. Spotify has more than 100 million users on the free tier, giving it a big advantage over Apple Music, which doesn’t offer a version of its streaming service for free.
Fortunately for paying subscribers, Spotify included a way to turn off sponsored songs. If you don’t want any extra tracks added to your playlists, simply go to Spotify’s Settings, tap on Sponsored Content and then turn the Sponsored Songs toggle off.