Spotify readies free ad-funded mobile service

Spotify is to open up free, ad-funded access to its music streaming service on mobile for the first time next week, which could open up more refined targeting opportunities for advertisers.


The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch report that user access to the service will be restricted to playlists and Spotify’s radio service, rather than being able to access the entire library as they can on desktop.

There also may be a time limit on the amount of hours users can spend on Spotify on their mobiles for free.

Spotify only currently allows premium subscribers, who pay £9.99 per month, to stream from mobile devices – which is largely due to restrictions from record labels.

An ad-supported free mobile service could open up additional location-based targeting opportunities for brands advertising the service.

Spotify would not comment on the reports when approached by Marketing Week, but the company has invited journalists to attend an event on 11 December, where it is likely the plans will be officially announced.

Gary Liu, Spotify’s global ad product strategy director, hinted to Marketing Week in October that a free streaming service on mobile would be coming to markets outside the US “soon”. 

Spotify has more than 6 million paying subscribers and 20 million active users globally, according to its most recently released figures.

This week Spotify was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for using the word “fuck” in a promotional email to users.