Spotify tells users with ad blockers to get lost
Music service takes a hard line against suppressing ads, threatening to block the blockers
Spotify has had enough of ad blockers, updating its terms of service to expressly forbid them as it tries to ramp up its advertising business.
On Friday, Spotify notified users that its new policies include a ban on ad blocking technology. "The following is not permitted for any reason whatsoever: circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service," the new terms say.
With its tougher stance, Spotify says it has the right to suspend any accounts that use ad blockers.
When Spotify went public last year, selling its shares on Wall Street for the first time, it disclosed to investors that about 2 million users deployed technology designed to "suppress advertisements."
An eMarketer report last year said that a quarter of U.S. internet users, or about 70 million people, deploy ad blockers.
Spotify, reporting fourth-quarter earnings this week, said it has 116 million ad-supported monthly active users and that it generated $198 million in ad revenue. It also offers an ad-free music subscription for $10 a month that serves 96 million people.
In other news this week, Spotify announced that it has acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor, two podcasting production companies, showing its seriousness about expanding that ad-supported audio experience.