×

Spotify Will Suspend Political Ad Sales in 2020, Citing Need For More Robust Ways to Vet Content

Spotify will not be trying to cash in on political ad spending during the 2020 election season.

The music and podcast streamer said Friday it will suspend sales of political ads next year, explaining that it doesn’t have the ability to “validate and review” such advertising.

“Beginning in early 2020, Spotify will pause the selling of political advertising,” a company rep said in a statement to Variety. “This will include political advertising content in our ad-supported tier and in Spotify original and exclusive podcasts. At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content. We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

Spotify’s move to suspend political ads was first reported by AdAge. In the past, the streamer has run ads from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and the Republican National Committee.

As the 2020 election heats up, the political-advertising policies of big internet platforms — and whether they will fact-check them — have been in the spotlight.

Facebook has been criticized for taking a hands-off approach, allowing political ads even if they include false or deliberately misleading claims (while banning ads that suggest voting is useless or that urge people not to vote). Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the platform was banning political advertising effective Nov. 22, arguing that it isn’t OK for campaigns or political groups to pay to target their messages to users.

Last month, Google announced that it would no longer allow microtargeting of ads by political affiliation or voting records across its portfolio of products — including YouTube — and emphasized that its ads policy prohibits any advertiser from making false statements.

The Spotify decision to halt political ads applies only to Spotify’s own ad sales. Ads embedded in third-party content — such as podcasts that are not owned by or exclusive to Spotify — may include political spots and will continue to be subject to the company’s broader content policies. That includes podcasts creators submit via Spotify for Podcasters and Anchor.

More Digital

  • Alex Jones

    Google Removes Infowars Android App From Online Store Over Coronavirus Misinformation

    Google on Friday removed the Android version of the Infowars app from the Google Play online store, after comments made by Infowars founder Alex Jones about the COVID-19 pandemic were deemed false and harmful. Google Play was that last major internet platform that provided an outlet for Infowars, which trades in right-wing conspiracy theories and [...]

  • Van Weezer

    Weezer Debuts Online Video Game as Throwback to Simpler Times -- And Album Promo

    Eight-bit diehards, get your thumbs ready: pop rock darlings Weezer have launched a nostalgia-heavy online side-scrolling action game, playable via web browsers.  The “The End of the Game” game has users playing as one of the band’s four members and jumping and shooting their way in a (surprisingly difficult) boss fight against an oversized, beanie-clad [...]

  • Google-Mountain-View-Calif

    Google Commits $800 Million, Mostly in Ad Credits, to Coronavirus Relief Efforts

    Google and parent Alphabet are pitching in to help small businesses, health organizations and governments dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet company has earmarked more than $800 million for coronavirus relief, about three-fourths of which ($610 million) is in the form of Google Ad credits to small and midsize businesses and governmental orgs, Alphabet [...]

  • Why Are Music Streams Down If

    Why Are Music Streams Down If Everyone's Stuck at Home? Experts Weigh in

    While it might seem counterintuitive that music streams would decline at a time when so many Americans were ordered to stay home, data-savvy label executives were neither startled nor concerned by the 7.6% drop in plays that happened in the March 13-19 tracking week. Simply put, they say it’s down to focus on news and [...]

  • MipTV Online Plus Initiative Launches

    MipTV Online Plus Features Showcases, Pitches, Presentations

    Reed Midem launches its MipTV Online Plus initiative Monday as a digital alternative to the conference that was scheduled to open on the same day in Cannes, but it includes many of the elements that were planned for the physical event. Among the streamed sessions on Monday morning (Paris time) will be the invitation-only Drama [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content