Spotify Opens Another Personalized Playlist to Advertising — Even for Paying Subscribers

Spotify playlists ads

Photo Credit: Joshua Earle

Spotify is opening its second personalized playlist to advertising sponsorships, serving up ‘On Repeat’ listeners.

The playlist launched in 2019 and caters to users who listen to their favorite songs on repeat. This is the second personalized playlist that Spotify has opened to advertising since ‘Discover Weekly‘ became ad-targetable in 2019. Spotify says targeting personalized playlists gives brands the ability to reach its most engaged users.

For example, the ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist is frequented by users who stream double the amount of those people who don’t listen to it. ‘On Repeat’ has a similar engagement ratio, focusing on super fans who listen to their favorites back to back. Spotify has shied away from putting advertising in its playlists to make them more attractive to users.

But now that music lovers are keen to discover new music or listen to their favorites – Spotify wants to monetize it. Spotify’s custom playlists are engineered by the company’s algorithms. Its ‘Made For You’ hub is tailored to each users listening preferences, featuring both Discover Weekly and other collections like new releases, favorites, suggestions, and more.

Brands across 30 global markets, including North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, can now access Spotify playlist sponsorships.

TurboTax is the first U.S. advertiser to sponsor the ‘On Repeat’ playlist. The personalization element in these ads makes it an easy way to target the market. But with so much of Spotify’s experience becoming monetized in some way – why are artists still earning peanuts?

Multiple artists have staged protests outside of Spotify’s office, demanding higher royalty payments. The artists sought transparency about Spotify’s $70 billion valuation, its sources of income, and any payola schemes for playlist and algorithm prioritization the company may have.

“We have demanded that Spotify stop fighting to lower songwriters’ royalty rates, but this is not addressed,” the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers told Digital Music News. “And of course we have demanded at least one penny per stream. They have not provided any further information on their per-stream rate at this time, which is currently calculated at $.0038,” says UMAW.

Spotify is unable to pay musicians more, despite how much money pours into its coffers. It’s a sad situation to see the company double and triple-dipping on revenue streams. Pretty soon, podcasts will be an entirely different offering on Spotify – with a separate subscription. Yet Spotify continues to pay artists less than a penny per stream for their content.