Spotify will start suspending ad-blocking users without warning

Donna Miller
February 10, 2019

The company, which turned a profit for the first time in 13 years, is about to swat freeloaders who use ad blockers as it experiences continued growth.

Music streaming service Spotify is cracking down on those abusing its free ad-clad package by introducing a zero-tolerance policy against ad blockers. Those on Spotify Premium do not see ads, so the ad-blocker change in the terms of service does not affect them. Spotify even had to adjust its monthly active user count from 159 million to 157 million ahead of its public offering, as those two million users were providing no value.

"Spotify respects intellectual property rights and expects you to do the same", it said.

Spotify says that it's taking a more aggressive approach toward free accounts that use ad blockers to skip ads and other promotional content.

Spotify also past year began cracking down on Android apps that let people access the service without ads. However, when you use the service without paying, Spotify relies on the ads to make money and pay artists' royalties.

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As The Verge reports, this week Spotify updated its Terms and Conditions of Use, with the User guidelines section now stating that the following is not permitted for any reason whatsoever: "circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service".

But thanks to the new terms of service, Spotify has the freedom to immediately shutdown an account without warning. Users were also warned through emails and given the chance to reactivate the account after uninstalling the ad-blocking software.

Spotify offers both its free, ad-supported tier and an ad-free subscription tier for $10, £10 and AU$12 per month.

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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