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Spotify rolls out video ads for Spotify Mobile and Desktop

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/09/08/spotify-will-now-serve-free-users-video-ads-desktop-mobile/

 

Today Spotify will be launching their new system for video ads on both the mobile and desktop Spotify app. Seeing as I use Spotify quite often and do not pay for it, I thought it was worth reading.

Yes, Spotify is introducing its first video ad products today, for both its mobile and desktop apps, following a limited trial of the initiative that kicked off earlier this year.

The adverts will constitute two separate entities. ‘Video Takeover’ lets brands ‘own’ ad breaks on the desktop, and are available in 15 or 30 second slots. Then there’s ‘Sponsored Sessions’ which are aimed at mobile users. Listeners are invited to opt-in to view short videos on their device, and in return they receive 30 minutes of ad-free music.

SponsoredSession1-730x459.jpg

Seeing as I only use Spotify on my PC, this makes a huge difference for me and I'm not sure it's very good. To me, it's much more favorable to mobile users because hearing the same commercial from some autoparts store gets pretty annoying after the first few times. If you're a regular mobile user and don't have premium service, you'd probably enjoy the opt-in program.

On the desktop version of Spotify I really think this will deter people from using their service. I just keep looking at why people use adblock outside of wanting to 'be protected' from adware/cookies/etc on other streaming sites like Youtube or Twitch. It's likely a tactic to push even more people to subscribe (which is sorta hinted at in the original article). About 25% of the 40,000,000 Spotify users are already subscribed to the premium service, which is insane.

In any case, I'm kind of bummed out that I'll no longer have a free music service that's relatively good considering the competition. I just don't think Spotify is worth paying for even if you do get can get* much better music quality out of it.

*It's actually incorrect to say that you will get better quality music out of the premium service. They just unlock the bitrate for songs which actually have better quality. If the source is bad it doesn't magically get better because you're throwing money at them and a large portion of their library is likely to have a source lower than 250-300+Kbps.

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it was inevitable that they started doing this  

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How does the video ad work on the desktop? Seeing as spotify is usually playing in the background for me as I use it when doing long monotonous school work tasks, browsing the internet and generally pretty much anything that doesn't have its own sound :P

 

Do they make you go back to the UI and watch the ad or something?

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How does the video ad work on the desktop? Seeing as spotify is usually playing in the background for me as I use it when doing long monotonous school work tasks, browsing the internet and generally pretty much anything that doesn't have its own sound :P

 

Do they make you go back to the UI and watch the ad or something?

What I gathered from the article is that it'll pop up like the overlay/UI ads they already have except it'll be with a video ad instead that you cannot skip or opt out of (unless you're on mobile). Very similar to twitch.tv ads.

I'll probably use Spotify later and find out myself but that's what you should be expecting from this.

On the bright side if it doesn't tab back to Spotify when an ad starts, you're usually tabbed out of the Spotify window and browsing the web or something else. I kind of expect what you do. Video ads are kind of useless if almost nobody will see them due to that fact..

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Wait what. Is only the sponsored session opt-in? And can I just get video ads on my desktop? Well no more Spotify for me. The thing which is amazing for me with Spotify is that it uses very little bandwidth and as my bandwidth is very low this was very good when gaming, as my ping wouldn't get destroyed. But with video adds, those require a lot more bandwidth, hence why I don't use Youtube as my music service. I wonder what happens if I throttle Spotify to only use 20kb/s, will it just start buffering?

Well back to the piratebay for all my music needs then....

 

Edit:

If they force the alt+tab then it really kills it as well, there is nothing more annoying then working on something and the suddenly having an alt tabbing ad or popup, this kills Spotify for gaming but also for more serious work in Word or Photoshop.

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I've had premium for almost a year now. Can't fucking stand the ads.

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Seeing as I only use Spotify on my PC, this makes a huge difference for me and I'm not sure it's very good. To me, it's much more favorable to mobile users because hearing the same commercial from some autoparts store gets pretty annoying after the first few times. If you're a regular mobile user and don't have premium service, you'd probably enjoy the opt-in program.

On the desktop version of Spotify I really think this will deter people from using their service. I just keep looking at why people use adblock outside of wanting to 'be protected' from adware/cookies/etc on other streaming sites like Youtube or Twitch. It's likely a tactic to push even more people to subscribe (which is sorta hinted at in the original article). About 25% of the 40,000,000 Spotify users are already subscribed to the premium service, which is insane.

 

You want a free (legal) music service. But you don't want to accept more and more intrusive advertisements? Can't you understand how those two things are polar opposites?

 

If you want to support the "content creators", and you want a good music service. Then you pay for it. Of course Spotify wants more people to subscribe. the revenue generated via advertisements pales into insignificance compared to the money generated by subscriptions. Newsflash: the subscribers are subsidising the people who only have the free service. Spotify would not exist if it was simply an advertisement funded service.

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I think spotify's objective with this new adverts is to basically make the free version almost un bearable to use, thus hopefully increasing premium music accounts, and in my case, it might even work, because I am fed up of hearing the same advert for an audiobook service every 10 minutes, God help when they become videos.....

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You want a free (legal) music service. But you don't want to accept more and more intrusive advertisements? Can't you understand how those two things are polar opposites?

I figure that they were managing fine without the video ads for one. If not, they can do what they please and users will have to adapt to those changes. I wasn't saying I expect 100% free ad-less music streaming at all.

The main point I was trying to put across is that I feel there are better alternatives to Spotify and by doing this they're really pushing people who refuse to pay for this service away. Those who can't (for whatever reasons) are just gonna be disappointed and maybe discontinue their support for the app.

If ads aren't good enough to run this, why do they even push them at this point? Shouldn't it be a 100% subscription service if that were the case? Also, look at the aforementioned media streaming services. I think ads are doing just fine..

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You want a free (legal) music service. But you don't want to accept more and more intrusive advertisements? Can't you understand how those two things are polar opposites?

If you want to support the "content creators", and you want a good music service. Then you pay for it. Of course Spotify wants more people to subscribe. the revenue generated via advertisements pales into insignificance compared to the money generated by subscriptions. Newsflash: the subscribers are subsidising the people who only have the free service. Spotify would not exist if it was simply an advertisement funded service.

Truth!

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I figure that they were managing fine without the video ads for one. If not, they can do what they please and users will have to adapt to those changes. I wasn't saying I expect 100% free ad-less music streaming at all.

The main point I was trying to put across is that I feel there are better alternatives to Spotify and by doing this they're really pushing people who refuse to pay for this service away. Those who can't (for whatever reasons) are just gonna be disappointed and maybe discontinue their support for the app.

If ads aren't good enough to run this, why do they even push them at this point? Shouldn't it be a 100% subscription service if that were the case? Also, look at the aforementioned media streaming services. I think ads are doing just fine..

 

In terms of advertisement based revenue, traditional banner advertisements (and non targeted ads) are becoming increasingly worthless. So it's obvious they'd be replaced by video adverts. I suspect it's more about retaining revenue than actually increasing revenue.

 

Spotify's model is a fine balancing act, they need to encourage people to use the free service, to encourage them to become paying customers. If they alienate the free customers and they go elsewhere. Then it'd be like having a shop with much lower footfall - much fewer potential customers.

 

But the increasingly changing landscape of online advertisement, puts pressures on the revenue they can create from ads. Which I presume is the main reasons behind these changes. If you look at marketing generally within the mobile space, it's increasingly competitive, with companies using ever more insidious methods to increase how much revenue they can generate from advertising.

 

They can't drop the free service while continuing growth. It's important to note, Spotify barely makes a profit. Their main aim is to increase userbase. In the long run i suspect it is likely they would move to a full subscription based model.

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I completely agree with you on that (and that's sorta what I was trying to get at). I can't see the addition of video ads being any less than a ploy to get more premium users. When companies do this sort of thing it's definitely called pushing their product. In this case it feels more like a shove due to how quickly I predict people will choose to either stop using their service or pay up.

Still not convinced that this was a flawless idea but I'm with you thinking it's not going to harm their revenue very much (maybe even increase it now?). My concerns will remain with the possiblity that this'll hurt their growth unless some word-of-mouth kind of advertising of Spotify kicks in heavily.

Again, great reply.

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I completely agree with you on that (and that's sorta what I was trying to get at). I can't see the addition of video ads being any less than a ploy to get more premium users. When companies do this sort of thing it's definitely called pushing their product. In this case it feels more like a shove due to how quickly I predict people will choose to either stop using their service or pay up.

Still not convinced that this was a flawless idea but I'm with you thinking it's not going to harm their revenue very much (maybe even increase it now?). My concerns will remain with the possiblity that this'll hurt their growth unless some word-of-mouth kind of advertising of Spotify kicks in heavily.

Again, great reply.

 

They've got the balance wrong before and made the mistake of alienating their free customers. Back when they imposed song limits and monthly limits. This clearly didn't have the desired affect of converting customers to paying customers, they just left the service. It was changed back pretty quickly.

 

They are on a much stronger foothold now and able to handle the licensing fees much easier than they were. But lets not forget, many musicians feel that they deserve much better deals, they feel like streaming services don't give them enough money. Spotify are continually under pressure from the music industry to increase revenue.

 

Edit: Just to emphasise my point about how Spotify has to be competitive in order to generate ad revenue, and can't rely on revenue from "banner type ads". This article shows how they are embracing native advertising and looking towards targeted adverts based on data collection which they are calling "moments".

 

Which is why I've said all along, if people don't want all that increasingly intrusive advertising. Please just pay for the service. It got to the point where advertising has to be targeted (which means data collection), or it's almost completely worthless.

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In any case, I'm kind of bummed out that I'll no longer have a free music service that's relatively good considering the competition. I just don't think Spotify is worth paying for even if you do get can get* much better music quality out of it.

 

It is $10 / €10 or 2-3 beers/coffes a month ...

For college students in the US it is half of that ...

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Can I just have adblock implanted into my brain? I don't ever want to see another.

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I bought premium the moment I got a job 4 years ago. What a relief that was after 2 years of adds o__o

Could never go back, hearing a Spotify add still nearly makes me flip X)

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Well back to the piratebay for all my music needs then....

Basically what you're saying is that you want to indulge yourself someone else's work and not pay for it? That's not how the world works. You may be able to get away with it in digital media land, so have fun.

You wouldn't want to work for someone if they didn't pay you, AMIRITE?

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Basically what you're saying is that you want to indulge yourself someone else's work and not pay for it? That's not how the world works. You may be able to get away with it in digital media land, so have fun.

You wouldn't want to work for someone if they didn't pay you, AMIRITE?

N No that is not what I'm saying I understand they need revenue and that is why they have those ads, I understand that completely. I did not mind those sound ads, and I understand they need those, and I wouldn't object to more if those are needed, but I simply won't deal with video ads, not on a service like Spotify. I don't like having to use the Pirate Bay for such things, but if they start using video ads I will, and I understand that that is not fair and I understand your objections, but that won't change my actions

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N No that is not what I'm saying I understand they need revenue and that is why they have those ads, I understand that completely. I did not mind those sound ads, and I understand they need those, and I wouldn't object to more if those are needed, but I simply won't deal with video ads, not on a service like Spotify. I don't like having to use the Pirate Bay for such things, but if they start using video ads I will, and I understand that that is not fair and I understand your objections, but that won't change my actions

 

You've gotta pay for it somehow, even if it's listening to ads. What will be different about the video ads? The client will lock up for the duration of the ad just like it did with the sound-only ads. Only thing that's changing is it will be a video, lol.

 

I'm pretty sure it won't take up a ton of bandwidth. If it does then give them feedback and they may do something about it. The Spotify people actually listen.

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You've gotta pay for it somehow, even if it's listening to ads. What will be different about the video ads? The client will lock up for the duration of the ad just like it did with the sound-only ads. Only thing that's changing is it will be a video, lol.

 

I'm pretty sure it won't take up a ton of bandwidth. If it does then give them feedback and they may do something about it. The Spotify people actually listen.

 The difference with video ads is exactly the bandwidth and the possibly forced alt+tabbing. If it allows for pre loading of ads with a lower bandwidth, then that helps with one of the problems, since the main thing I'm worried about is my bandwidth, for all I care they put an entire library of ads on my HDD so they play when needed without using bandwidth (same way that some songs get loaded in encrypted form in cache(at least I presume they do that)).

And then of course the forced alt+tabbing, I understand that they want people to watch the ad, but if it alt+tabs me mid activity, that being gaming, programming, or anything else that is just very annoying and I would not tolerate that, although I assume there are ways to stop applications from doing that.

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 The difference with video ads is exactly the bandwidth and the possibly forced alt+tabbing. If it allows for pre loading of ads with a lower bandwidth, then that helps with one of the problems, since the main thing I'm worried about is my bandwidth, for all I care they put an entire library of ads on my HDD so they play when needed without using bandwidth (same way that some songs get loaded in encrypted form in cache(at least I presume they do that)).

And then of course the forced alt+tabbing, I understand that they want people to watch the ad, but if it alt+tabs me mid activity, that being gaming, programming, or anything else that is just very annoying and I would not tolerate that, although I assume there are ways to stop applications from doing that.

 

I don't think it'll force itself to be the at the top of all windows for you to watch it. If it does that'll be pretty shitty - I doubt they'll do that though.

 

I think you shouldn't draw conclusions right off the bat until you see it. :)

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Basically what you're saying is that you want to indulge yourself someone else's work and not pay for it? That's not how the world works. You may be able to get away with it in digital media land, so have fun.

You wouldn't want to work for someone if they didn't pay you, AMIRITE?

Yep. It's that kind of attitude that really pisses me off. They act so entitled.

 

Yeah I get it, buying CD's used to be a total ripoff (Back when they were $20+ per CD) and pirating is generally a distribution problem... But when people who want free services don't want to sit through the ads that make those services free, then what the hell? That's fucking unethical if you ask me. Don't want to pay? Watch the damn ads. They are 15 or 30 second timeslots. 30 seconds of video in exchange for awesome free content won't kill you.

 

Spotify also needs to differentiate the premium service somehow, and removing ads is the most logical explanation. If the free version had no ads, then hardly anyone would subscribe. Even with the higher bitrate songs unlocked, a lot of people don't care about the quality difference, or have some cheap shitty $10 headphones that can't show the difference anyway.

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Speaking of the whole forced alt+tab thing. Has anyone seen any confirmation that it will do this? I think people are just making up "worst case" scenarios without any proof. As long as the video isn't forced alt+tab, then it won't make any difference to the end user. If you hear the audio of the video ad, it will be just like listening to an audio ad.

 

I can understand the whole bandwidth issue as well though. But if they are smart, they will allow variable quality on the video ad. Take YouTube video ads. They load at whatever quality setting your video is currently at. You can manually drop the quality of the ad too, or force YouTube to default to a lower quality to begin with, which will then play all ads in the lowest available quality.

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