Music streaming service Spotify has posted an update to its Terms of Service banning the use of ad blockers completely.

Under the new rules, “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service” could lead to immediate suspension or even account termination.

In an email to users, Spotify said that all types of ad blockers, fraudulent streaming activity, and bots are not permitted. The new rules go into effect on 1st March. Continuing to use the service after that date implies agreement to the new Terms of Service.

Spotify currently offers users two tiers: a free account that only offers shuffle play and is subject to ads, and a premium account that has no ad interruptions and enables users to listen offline.

Last March, it was reported that roughly 2 million free Spotify users were using modified apps to avoid ads. After detecting unusual activity, Spotify sent users a warning via email instructing them to uninstall the ad blockers to get their account reinstated. However, they are now giving themselves the power to terminate users accounts instantly and without providing any warning.

Spotify turns first-ever profit

The news comes just a few days after the release of Spotify’s latest earnings report, which showed the firm has finally turned a profit for the first time in 13 years of operation. The company earned an operating profit of US$107 million. The bulk of its turnover comes from revenue from paid subscriptions, but its share of ad-supported revenue is still significant. As a public company, it’s under pressure to prevent acts like ad blocking and piracy that could have a negative impact on earnings.

Now counting 96 million paid subscribers, Spotify boasts nearly twice the number of subscribers as Apple Music; the platform also announced that it had 207 million monthly active users overall during the last quarter.

It’s been a busy week for Spotify, who also announced their acquisition of Anchor and Gimlet Media with a view toward growing its share of the podcast market. More podcast-oriented acquisitions are reportedly forthcoming.

Spotify for Brands reports that 68 per cent of the platform’s streams take place on mobile. Advertisers are able to connect with people who listen to music related to a certain mood or activity, genre, or location.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.