Spotify and Apple Music are almost joined at the hip. The two music streamers have the same pricing, but disconnect when it comes to a free, ad-supported tier. Spotify has one, Apple Music doesn’t. On the other hand, Apple does offer a one-time free three-month trial of its streaming music platform, and Spotify doesn’t. Recently, we told you that Spotify has approximately 184 million members globally. Of that total, 101 million use the free ad-supported tier even though the features are limited compared to the premium paid version of the service (view the image at the top of this article).
In the U.S., Apple Music now has more paying subscribers than Spotify although the latter still leads globally. To stay ahead of Apple worldwide and reverse the situation in the states, Spotify has a new feature called “Active Media” that is being tested in Australia. This allows members using the free ad-supported Spotify tier to skip audio and video ads and return to their music. Currently, subscribers not paying for their Spotify content are unable to do this. Users will have an unlimited number of ad-skips, and advertisers won’t have to pay Spotify for advertisements that users pass over.
Spotify, which is now a publicly traded company, has yet to turn a profit since the launch of the app on October 7th, 2008. But Danielle Lee, Spotify’s global head of partner solutions, says that allowing members of the free tier to skip ads will help the company gather intelligence that it can use. By keeping track of which ads are skipped over, Spotify will be able to come up with profiles detailing members’ preferences. This will allow the music streamer to customize ads, and offer advertisers the opportunity to participate in more focused campaigns.
Spotify plans to rollout “Active Media” on a global basis, although the timeline for this is not known.