Spotify putting 'sponsored' songs in your playlists

Spotify recently hit 140 million subscribers, but the company has been having trouble monetising its free tier. Now it may have hit on a solution: sponsored songs.

As part of a trial (which does not affect those not paying for Spotify Premium), music labels will be able to promote songs by putting them into users' playlists as sponsored content.

Those whose accounts are affected - and it's only a small number at the moment - are able to opt out by going through Spotify's settings.

If this proves a viable option for Spotify to realise some revenue from its non-paying users, it could channel that money into hi-res music or more exclusive songs as a way to stay ahead of Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon Music.

Since the company says that music services aren't paying artists enough, getting something out of its free users is certainly a priority.


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Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.