Spotify confirms testing 'Sponsored Songs' in playlists

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For example if you enjoyed listening to rock, then any new upcoming rock singles that labels want to promote could be inserted into your rock playlists, which should in theory be more effective than trying to market a rock song to people who might prefer another genre. These can be targeted to appear to users with matching listening tastes so they fit alongside their other music. Unfortunately for free users, the opt-out option for Spotify's potential rollout of Sponsored Songs will only be available for premium subscribers.

Spotify will now recommend Eventbrite and AXS events to listeners based on their music preferences and alongside their favourite artists and albums, in addition to emailing an artist's followers when new tour dates are posted. The company confirmed that Sponsored Songs is a test programme and that it will only appear to users on the free tier.

If Sponsored Songs catch on and get implemented as a standard feature, they could be a serious boon to labels and artists. How widely the sponsored songs are being distributed isn't clear.

Users are now able to opt out of the testing, although we imagine that the feature will be mandatory for all free users if and when it's introduced, providing another incentive to jump up to a premium subscription.

At the same time, Sponsored Songs hearken back to the dark days of radio payola, where labels paid DJs at radio stations to put their artists' songs on the air. At the end of the day, Spotify has to find ways to make money off its free members as well. Congress clamped down on the practice in the lat 1950s and the 2000s.

According to users, the songs appear at the top of the playlist with an option to save the song.

Are you a Spotify Free user? Users say the song announces that it is sponsored before it plays, however it doesn't seem a sponsored tag is presented visually. These personalised recommendations will also help listeners discover new music and relevant concerts on Spotify's Concerts tab.



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