Spotify’s new video ads will grant users 30 minutes of ad-free tunes

spotify ads video adds option sponsoredsession
For millions of free-loading Spotify users, two new ad options are coming. Taking a nod from the Hulu playbook, the music-streaming titan announced today on its blog that Spotify Free users will soon be able to choose to watch a video ad on their mobile device in exchange for 30 glorious minutes of ad-free listening.

Related: Spotify ads free music streaming to its Windows Phone app

Calling its new venture Sponsored Sessions, Spotify is introducing the method as a means of enticing new sponsors to help it rise above the skin-tight profit margins of Internet radio. Although music streaming sites are extremely popular, garnering millions of users, Spotify, and its competitors like Pandora, Rhapsody, and Beats Music, pay huge royalty fees that make it tough to turn a profit. The new ad model is a way to both bring in more cash, and give Spotify’s 30 million free users a choice in their ad experience.

In addition to Sponsored Sessions, the company is introducing something called Video Takeover for its desktop application. The takeover method is a pitch to major brands as a way of engaging with Spotify’s large audience of avid users, allowing them to essentially hijack the Spotify home screen with a quick video ad in the middle of a session, before returning to the tunes.

Partners of the new video ad services include major brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, NBC Universal Pictures, Target, and Wells Fargo. Claiming its users spend an average of 146 minutes per day on its service, Spotify is hoping to garner a whole new revenue stream from the video spots. For its big name sponsors, the video ads are a way to tailor their products for a more specific demographic of savvy music lovers.

Ads will likely play a big role in the future of digital music, not only for music streaming services, but also for the industry as a whole. In January, direct digital music sales from services like iTunes and Google Play recorded its first decline since the iTunes Store set up shop. A large part of that downturn in sales is thought to be due to the sharp rise in popularity of streaming services like Spotify and its contemporaries.

Related: Vulpeck’s Sleepify album uses Spotify trick to make $20,000

However, as any professional musician can attest, it’s hard to make much money from digital streaming sites. The overall decline in revenue for recorded music has hit the entire industry hard, from the recording studio, to the front office of major labels. Lesser known artists, often at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to revenue sharing, are finding constant touring to be one of the few methods left that is lucrative enough to make a living.

All of that leaves streaming sites in a precarious position as the next wave in popularity. If sites like Spotify and Pandora can begin to capitalize on their marketshare with new ways to sell their service, might that increase in profit trickle down and bolster the recording industry as a whole? Only time will tell, but for now, it looks like Spotify is leading the way into the brave new future of digital music.

Spotify’s new video ads are slated to arrive in the fourth quarter of the year in six major markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Sweden, with a global rollout planned for 2015.


I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

The best new music this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, Eddie Palmieri, and Jacob Collier.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.