Do major labels have to ruin everything new and innovative happening in music? The short answer is YES. Napster, SoundCloud, Grooveshark and countless other music services have tasted the legal scepter of the majors and now they are after our sacred Spotify playlists. Music geeks and artist’s alike have been losing their minds over Spotify’s announcement to allow major label tracks to appear at the top of popular playlists.
As Digital Music News reports, Spotify has been testing a new “sponsored songs” ad unit. Labels can pay to have their artist’s songs show up on playlists that people follow. The sponsored songs will only appear on Spotify editorial playlists, Fresh Finds, Rap Caviar, TGIF, etc. not user generated playlists. The ads will be close to advertising banners, unlike other Spotify ads. The song will not automatically play when you press play on the list but serve as a reminder to listen to and hopefully save the sponsored song for repeated listening and sharing.
Not to worry if you are a paying Spotify premium subscriber, if that test is successful the sponsored-songs will only appear for the free Spotify tier. There will be an option for premium users to opt out of it in the Spotify settings menu.
I can’t say I’m surprised, from a PR standpoint it is a good idea for Spotify to keep up with this kind of press while testing new product updates. It gets people riled up and talking/sharing and even worse people like me will write about it.