Spotify is now selling your info to advertisers for targeted audio ads

Spotify App Update Hands On
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Ads are a normal part of Spotify’s free tier, but for the first time, the music streaming service is launching programmatic buying across its audio ads globally. The company announced Wednesday that it now offers advertisers the ability to target audiences in all 59 of Spotify’s markets by age, gender, genres, and playlists.

The company partnered with what it calls the “most established platforms in the programmatic space”: AppNexus, Rubicon Project, and The Trade Desk. What they’ve come up with are private online marketplaces for 15- and 30-second audio spots in which advertisers can bid in real time. Ad buyers will be able to access demographic data and unique playlist data, allowing them to try to reach listeners based on what they’re listening to, when they’re doing it, and who they are.

For the 70 million Spotify Free users out there, this means that they may hear different ads when they’re listening to hip-hop than when they’re streaming indie/alternative, for example. Furthermore, those with a workout playlist could, in theory, expect to hear ads about exercise gear. Spotify says that its programmatic buying will enable advertisers to deliver their message “at the right time and on the right platform.”

Spotify tweeted about the launch to prospective advertisers on Wednesday:

With programmatic audio, buyers may be willing to pay more for ads on Spotify, thereby increasing the revenue the company collects. At present, advertising helps offset the cost of streaming free music to users. Ad-free streaming requires a subscription that costs $10 per month.

Spotify has faced increased competition since Apple Music launched at the end of June 2015, so better monetizing its free tier makes sense for the company. How users will react remains to be seen, but a Spotify rep assured Digital Trends in an email that there will be “no impact on the listening experience for users.” Targeted ads are common across digital platforms, so we suspect that users won’t mind them nearly as much as they would an increase in ad volume.

Mobile

Nubia’s two-screen wonder is a new solution to our all-screen selfie problems

Nubia has added a second screen to the back of the Nubia X so the rear camera can be used for selfies -- and a lot more -- and the front is all-screen. We tried the phone out at CES 2019.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.
Smart Home

IKEA’s new blinds for the smart home arrive April 1 in the U.S.

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA is adding a new product called FYRTUR, which turns out to be a new set of blackout blinds for the smart home that can be controlled by remote or programmed through the company's app.
Mobile

Apple AirPods may be used to spy on conversations, but please don’t

Apple added Live Listen to the AirPods through the iOS 12 update last September, to help users with minor hearing issues. However, a viral tweet is suggesting that the feature may be used to eavesdrop on the conversations of other people.
Home Theater

Rock out, dance, or just nod along with the best Bluetooth speakers

The market is saturated with wireless audio solutions fit for any and all circumstances. Check out our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers available, whether you'll be listening in the kitchen or on a mountaintop.
Music

A wealth of rich tunes: Cash in with the best songs about money

There may not be as many songs about money as there are songs about love, but it's a close second. If you're looking for a skrilla-inspired playlist, check out our picks for the best songs about money.
Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2018 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Home Theater

Future Apple AirPods may use pressure sensors to tune sounds to your ears

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Music

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price -- albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much is Spotify Premium going to cost you, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Mobile

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.
Music

The best new music this week: Angelo De Augustine 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: New albums from Angelo De Augustine and Miss Grit.