Spotify is testing a new feature that lets users skip audio and video ads, even without being on a paid subscription—The feature, known as “Active Media,” will allows users of Spotify’s free, ad-supported service to skip particular ads, with advertisers only paying for completed listens or views.
Danielle Lee, Spotify’s global head of partner solutions explained to Adage.
“Our hypothesis is if we can use this to fuel our streaming intelligence, and deliver a more personalized experience and a more engaging audience to our advertisers, it will improve the outcomes that we can deliver for brands. Just as we create these personalized experiences like Discover Weekly, and the magic that brings to our consumers, we want to inject that concept into the advertising experience,”
According to Spotify, Active Media feature is the “first of its kind globally” and will allow the company to “learn from each interaction” and “deliver a more personalised ad experience.” There’s no word yet on if or when the feature will expand beyond Australia, but Spotify has billed the feature as an “evolution” of its advertising model.
When an ad break comes up, users will be able to choose whether they see or hear the ad in question, or whether they want to skip the ad all together. The selling point for advertisers? Spotify will now know more about user’s preferences and be able to better target advertising in future.
This might also be a way for Spotify to make more per ad for those ads that don’t get skipped. It also improves the overall experience of the company’s free tier service, which could spur at least some of those users to spring for the premium version. And, of course, paying attention to ads you don’t skip will tell Spotify a little more about you.
This feature has rolled out in testing last month and only in Australia. And hopefully soon it rolls out to a global audience.