How Often Does Spotify Play Ads? (2023 Quick Guide)

The free version of Spotify sometimes plays advertisements to pay artists and other content providers. Generally, Spotify ads appear between tracks and in longer podcasts. Many Spotify users are confused by how often ads are played on Spotify.

Quick Answer: Spotify inserts ads approximately every 15 minutes or after 2-3 songs, typically lasting around 30 seconds. Ad frequency and duration can vary by region, but generally, users can expect a 30-second ad after 2-3 songs, occurring at the 15-minute mark.


I’ve mentioned all the Spotify ad facts and related queries in this post. So without any further ado, let’s get started.

How Often  Spotify Play Ads

Understanding Spotify’s Ad Frequency: My Personal Observation

Spotify’s Ad frequency is always a confusing matter for free Spotify users.

The Spotify free version plays ads after every 15 minutes of streaming. Generally, this timing equals 2-3 songs, which most users experience.

Considering the people’s opinions, I verified the timing of the Spotify ad by using the free version. After 2-3 songs, which is about 15 minutes, I also encountered an advertisement.

So, yes, that’s true that Spotify’s free version plays ads after 15 minutes or 2-3 songs. 

Despite Spotify not specifying an exact period for ads, based on my personal experience and the opinions of other experts on the internet, the time frame is around 15 minutes or 2-3 songs.

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Why Spotify Plays Ads After 15 Minutes?

Spotify plays ads to its free users to generate revenue, as it is the only way for the service to generate revenue from those who are not paying.

Spotify is the business model that helps cover the costs of offering free music and encourages free users to use the premium subscription.

Below are some major reasons behind Spotify’s ads on the free version:

1. Revenue Generation For Free Streaming

Ads play a major role in generating revenue from free users. Spotify uses this income to pay for the rights to stream Artist’s music and labels.

So, advertisement is very important for Spotify as it’s the only way to get income from free Spotify users.

2. Encourage To Upgrade

Spotify plays ads between streaming to encourage you to upgrade to premium rather than ruin your listening experience.

When you upgrade to Spotify Premium, you’ll enjoy ad-free and uninterrupted listening. Spotify also benefits from your premium subscription, which helps it pay artists.

3. Balancing User Experience

As part of its user-friendly approach, Spotify balances ad interruptions with a smooth user experience. 

To maintain an engaging listening experience, the 15-minute ad interval ensures users have a substantial amount of uninterrupted time.

So, for these three major reasons, Spotify plays ads in a free version.

Factors Affecting The Frequency Of Spotify Ads

The frequency of Spotify ads is mainly affected by user activity, location, and type of content. Below are some other factors influencing the frequency of Spotify ads:

1. User Activity

User activity has a major role in influencing Spotify ad frequency. Generally, the more active a user is on Spotify, the more ads will be shown to him.

Also, if a free Spotify user skips songs frequently, he’s more likely to see more ads on Spotify.

2. Location

Geographical location is also the leading cause of influencing Spotify ads frequency.

Remember, it matters for Spotify in which country you are located. So based on that location, ad frequency varies. It’s a general rule that in areas with more advertisers, users experience more ads.

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3. Time Of Day

On Spotify, the time of day also influences the Ads frequency. Spotify listener time peaks in the morning and evening, so users are likelier to see ads during those times.

4. Content Being Streamed 

This is the most important factor to understand. Spotify ads frequency depends on the type of content streamed by free users.

If they are listening to music, they are likely to see ads after 2-3 songs or 15 minutes. But in long podcasts, Spotify plays ads in between the streaming. Even though the time for ads arrival in podcasts is not confirmed. It varies from user to user.

What Kind Of Ads Spotify Shows To Its Free Users?

Spotify shows three types of ads to its free users: Audio, video, and display ads.

Audio ads are played when the user is not viewing the screen. These ads are typically 15-30 seconds long based on the user’s activity and region. 

Secondly, video ads are played when the user is in contact with the mobile screen. These ads are also 15-30 seconds long based on the user’s activity.

Lastly, display ads appear on the Spotify client in several places, such as the cover art area and the playlist header. Various categories of ads are displayed, from music releases and concerts to ads from brands across various industries.

how spotify ads effect user experience

How Spotify Ads Affect User Experience?

Spotify ads are important for free users in shaping the user experience. 

These ads can break the music flow, potentially impacting the listening experience. But on the other side, these ads help Spotify to provide a wide variety of music at no cost.

Ad breaks can provide a mental respite for users, as engaging with one thing for an extended period can be strenuous for the brain.

But for 60% of the users, the same ads make them frustrate and ruin their listening experience.

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The Difference Between Free and Premium Spotify Subscriptions

Free Spotify Subscription

    • Supported by ads, which play between songs approximately every 15 minutes.


    • Users can only shuffle play albums and playlists on mobile devices.


    • No offline listening; requires an internet connection.


    • Standard audio quality.


    • Limited song skips per hour.


Premium Spotify Subscription

    • A completely ad-free listening experience.


    • Users have full control over playback; they can select any song on any device at any time.


    • Allows offline listening by downloading songs, albums, and playlists.


    • High-quality audio options are available.


    • Unlimited song skips.


Spotify Ad Frequency Versus Other Music Streaming Platforms

Streaming Platform Ad Frequency Free Tier Available
Spotify Approximately every 15 minutes Yes
Pandora After every 3-4 songs Yes
Apple Music No ads No
YouTube Music Before each video Yes
Amazon Music No ads No (Limited catalog for Prime members)

Spotify uses ads to support its artists, like many other streaming services. But the ad frequency of Spotify can differ from other streaming platforms like:

    • Pandora: Typically plays one ad after every three to four songs, which can feel more frequent than Spotify’s ads.


    • Apple Music: Unlike Spotify, Apple Music doesn’t have a free tier supported by ads. It only offers a paid subscription.


    • Youtube Music: In its free version, YouTube Music plays one ad before each video, which can feel quite frequent to users.


    • Amazon Music: Amazon Music Unlimited does not have a free, ad-supported tier. Amazon Prime members, however, can access a limited catalog without ads.


Is There Any Way To Limit Ads On Spotify?

No, there’s no actual method to limit ads on Spotify. Only you can purchase the Spotify premium subscription.

Some third-party apps block ads from Spotify, but this is unethical because Spotify generates revenue from these ads, which in turn helps them to license music from artists.

It’s important to know that Spotify provides wide music without charging a single penny from free users. So, in turn, it shows them ads which is ok.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often Do Ads Play On Spotify’s Free Version?

Spotify ads are played after 15 minutes or after 2-3 songs in the free version.

What Factors Affect Spotify’s Ad Frequency?

Spotify’s ad frequency is influenced by the user’s activity, location, time of day, and type of content being streamed.

Does Spotify’s Premium Subscription Still Have Ads?

No, a Spotify premium subscription provides you with an ad-free experience.

Why Does Spotify Play Ads for Free Users?

Spotify plays ads for free users to generate revenue. This revenue is used to license Artist’s music. 

Can Users Limit Ads on Spotify’s Free Version?

No, limiting ads on Spotify’s free version is impossible and ethical. To avoid ads, you need to upgrade to Spotify Premium.

Final Words

The whole article concluded that Spotify plays ads after 15 minutes or after 2-3 songs, with ad breaks lasting for around 30 seconds. The frequency and duration of ads can vary based on region. 

Hopefully, now you should know how often Spotify plays ads and everything related to it.

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