Spotifree Automatically Mutes Spotify Ads…

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Here’s another reason why more people aren’t converting to Spotify Premium: they’re already skipping the ads for free.  Enter Spotifree, an easy app add-on that simply mutes Spotify ads without you noticing.

This is actually an app that’s been floating around for years, and one of several ad-blocking solutions for Spotify that haven’t been dealt with.  In fact, Spotifree isn’t blocked at all by Spotify.

The secret sauce of this app is that most people aren’t actually looking at Spotify when they’re listening to Spotify, so they’ll hardly notice a 30-second or one minute period of silence.

Which is exactly the point, as you don’t know (or care) about the ads that you’re not listening to.

You’ll never even notice this plug for Jurassic World…

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Nor will you hear this Coca-Cola Six Flags spot.  It’s like these ads were never even there, even though they were paid for.

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Then, it’s back to the music, which is seamlessly un-muted after the blocked ads are finished.

Actually, the biggest hurdle to installing this is Apple itself, simply because Spotifree is not by an approved app developer.  But, if you decide it’s worth the risk, all you have to do is re-start Spotify and the muting begins.


23 Responses

  1. jw

    Wait a minute… you’re saying Spotify isn’t ALLOWING me to adjust my computer’s volume while using their service??? Outrageous!

    Spotifree isn’t an “easy app add-on,” it’s a standalone OSX app that adjusts your OSX volume when it detects Spotify playing an ad. To forcefully block the app, they would have to do some very shady stuff. Otherwise they’d have to make the ads technically indistinguishable from regular tracks, which is impractical for a number of reasons.

    But this app doesn’t seem wildly popular… I imagine it would cost more in development to block it than they lose by it’s existence.

    Ad blocking is a reality on the modern internet. Ad buyers know it. Spotify knows it. In order for this app to matter, it would have to reach an adoption threshold that they’re nowhere even close to.

    • duhhhhh

      spotify pauses commercials when you turn down the volume all the way.

      • DavidB

        When I use Spotify, which is not very often, I connect my laptop to a speaker system, and I just use the remote to switch that off for 30 seconds or so when an ad comes on. It is still ‘playing’ at full volume on the laptop, so Spotify is none the wiser. If I used Spotify a lot, I would probably go Premium. If the world had a sense of irony, we would laugh at the absurdity of an internet economy based on advertising which most people find so annoying they are prepared to go to some lengths to avoid it! I seriously think that internet advertising is the biggest con since the South Sea Bubble.

        • djg

          “advertising which most people find so annoying”

          Is advertising in the “internet economy” more annoying than any other media?

          Seriously, I’m sure many people who buy and sells ads would like to know.

          • Anonymous

            I think so.

            People generally accept ads in TV, magazines, radio, billboards, etc. because:

            1. They are typically delivered in standard, expected formats so that we are able to become accustomed to them – and learn to mentally filter them out. Consider magazine ads: most people can determine whether a page is an ad or substantive content in less than a second, and flip through ads without even really registering their content.

            2. They don’t interrupt what we’re doing, except in limited, specific, and expected ways. The commercial break in a TV show lets you check your email, get a drink, go to the bathroom without missing what you actually want to see; you can watch them if you want, but you can effortlessly tune out.

            3. They don’t invade your “personal space”: a billboard may be targeted to your demographic, for example, but it isn’t targeted specifically to you – it doesn’t recognize what you were just talking about with your best friend in the car and then deliver related content.

            Compare other ad forms to internet advertising, where advertisers have unparalleled options for specifically interfering with you, personally. You go to a website and unexpectedly get an autoplaying ad video – before you do what you came to the website to do, you have to spend time to find the pause button to make it stop. On Tinder, a number of people at SXSW got matched with a cute girl — then, after the user had a chance to get sincerely excited about the possibility of a hot date, the user discovered that the cute girl was actually just a bot promoting the movie Ex Machina.

            It’s just advertisers doing their jobs, and their creativity can even be impressive (like with Ava on Tinder). But it’s intrusive and disruptive in a way that ads in other mediums (like magazines or billboards) simply can’t be.

            Yes, as a consumer, I think that makes them more annoying than ads in any other medium.

          • Anonymous

            Just pay for the stuff you want if you don’t like ads.

            Your choice.

          • What Option

            It’s only your choice assuming that the site has a paid option. You can’t pay to make ads go away on most sites.

          • Anon

            This software doesn’t hurt Spotify at all. The add is still played, they still get the money for showing it to you. This program only mutes it so the end user can be happy too.

  2. Versus

    I’m surprised any time-based advertising works. I simply skip it, mute it, or ignore it. I don’t listen to commercial radio because it has ads.
    For television, I gladly pay for ad-free watching.
    If I must watch versions with ads, then I mute them when they are on and use the opportunity to go make a drink.

    Non-time-based ads, like those in magazines, are fine, as long as they are not too obnoxiously interspersed with the editorial text.

    • DavidB

      For TV with ads, I record the program on a VCR and skip the ads when I play it back. As my VCR can play a program from the beginning while still recording it, I only need to wait about 15 minutes into the program to start watching, (if the program is a standard hour’s length with about 15 mins of ads).

      Of course, if everyone did this the economics of ad-funded TV would collapse, but it’s legal, and it’s not my fault if some TV channels have an obsolescent business model. They *could* all move to a subscription basis if they wanted to.

  3. Anonymous

    YouTube, Spotify, etc. need to block ad-blockers.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, they do.

        I’ve used ad-blockers since forever and I’m like, “Wow, why do they allow this?”

    • Geek

      Simple, I’ll just write some code that blocks the ad-blocker blocker

      • Anonymous

        Good luck with that, it’s going to be the next whack-a-mole.

        • Geek

          I’ve been doing it for years. I wrote code for an app that downloads YouTube vids in age action of a second. That gets deleted, excised, expunged. I wrote a new one. Check Firefox add ons.

          Same here, I just write some new code, upload the app, people enjoy then it gets purged.

          Write some new code.

          Seriously, it’s not rocket science. An high school newbie could do it in their spare time

          • Anonymous

            “An high school newbie could do it in their spare time”

            …and it’s just as easy to write the next ad-block blocker. Again, good luck with your crusade…

  4. jw

    What’s interesting here is… the model is that you offer the content for free, & while you have the consumer’s attention, you display ads. It’s a bait & switch scheme. It’s not a transaction… users aren’t paying for music by watching ads, advertisers are paying for music in exchange for potentially exposing their brands to consumers.

    And advertising is & always has been more like spreading seed for grass… you’re not guaranteed that every seed is going to take hold, or even land on fertile ground. You just want to make sure you get your coverage. Thinking about it on a 1-to-1 basis & being overly concerned with the minority of ad-blocking consumers shows a general misunderstanding of how advertising works & a poor concept of tech resource prioritization. It’s kind of like wasting time & resources building a wall that’s going to keep seeds off the drive way (which, of course, hamstrings parking, is probably an eyesore, etc… unintended consequences), instead of just letting them fall where they fall & focusing on your successes. Hyperfocusing on this sort of thing is terrible business sense.

    So ultimately this shouldn’t affect artists one bit. (The few thousand or so that probably use this app are a drop in the bucket among the tens of millions of Spotify users, & would have no direct impact on the rates Spotify is able to get for advertisements.) This is simply an argument that continues to pit artists against technology, even when they have no dog in the fight.

  5. Peter27

    Remove Spotify Ads completely.

    I if found a program that doesn’t mute the Ads but removes them entirely. It works by blocking the IP’s from the Ad servers and it isn’t running in the background, you start it once and it adds the IP’s to the windows firewall. Works great for me