Spotify will now let artists pay them to push music recommendations to you, the firm announced this week. This is being done as part of a test in the US, and is reportedly to allow artists a more direct connection to their fans.
“We will let artist teams pay to sponsor these recommendations, giving them the power to tell their listeners on Spotify—across both our Free and Premium tiers—about their latest release,” Spotify said on Thursday, “You’ll now hear from a wider range of artists, which means you’re less likely to miss out on new releases from your favorites.”
Sponsored tweets and posts are part and parcel of social media, with Spotify being a social platform, this makes some sort of sense. On the other hand, some users may chafe at getting sponsored products on a platform they’re already paying for. Spotify says it’ll be giving advertisers access to both Free and Premium users, and users aren’t a fan of being advertised to on paid products. On the other, other hands Spotify already does recommendations by way of algorithm and human curation. Perhaps having artists also get a say in pushing their music out would be beneficial to fans as well.
It’s all very messy at the moment, probably why Spotify announced this as a tentative test rather than a full-on policy change.