Why Does Spotify Have So Many Ads

Why Does Spotify Have So Many Ads? (Explained)

Do you love listening to your favorite music on Spotify but tired of the advertisements? The problem is widespread among all Spotify free users, and they want to know why does Spotify have so many ads.

Quick Answer: Spotify displays numerous ads to offer free users access to a wide range of music without a subscription fee. These ads serve as Spotify’s primary source of revenue from free users, appearing approximately every 2-3 songs or every 15 minutes to sustain this model.


In this post, I’ve discussed every fact related to Spotify ads. So let’s jump into it.

Understanding the Role of Ads in Free Services

Spotify’s free services are financed primarily by advertising, one of the most important factors in Spotify eyes.

As the company provides users free access to a wide range of music, ads pay for the service. Hence, free access to a vast collection of songs is a trade-off for the advertisement.

These ads act as a monetization strategy for Spotify, thus enabling users to enjoy their favorite music without cost. 

So, that’s why the role of ads in Spotify’s free version is crucial for generating revenue while providing users access to content without a single penny.

understanding spotify ads

Why Does Spotify Have So Many Ads? 3 Major Reasons

Spotify plays ads to its free users to generate revenue since it is the only way for the service to make money.

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

1. Revenue Generation For Free Streaming

Advertisements play a crucial role in generating revenue from free users. Spotify utilizes this income to compensate artists and labels for the streaming rights to their music. 

Therefore, advertisements are vital for Spotify as they serve as the primary source of income from free users.

2. Encourage To Upgrade

Spotify strategically includes ads during streaming to incentivize users to upgrade to premium, enhancing their listening experience. 

By upgrading to Spotify Premium, you can enjoy uninterrupted and ad-free listening. Additionally, your premium subscription directly supports artists, enabling Spotify to compensate them adequately without seeing ads.

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3. Balancing User’s Experience

In its commitment to user satisfaction, Spotify balances ad interruptions and a seamless user experience. 

By implementing a 15-minute ad interval, Spotify guarantees users a substantial amount of uninterrupted time, ensuring an engaging listening experience.

These are the major reasons why Spotify has so many ads.

Analysis Of Spotify’s Ad Frequency

The frequency of ads on Spotify can be a source of confusion for free users. 

In the free version, ads are played after every 15 minutes of streaming, which usually corresponds to 2-3 songs.

To validate this information, I tested the timing using the free version and encountered an advertisement after approximately 15 minutes or 2-3 songs. 

Although Spotify does not provide an exact timeframe for ads, based on my experience and input from experts, it is safe to say that ads typically appear after 15 minutes or 2-3 songs.

comparing spotify ad model

Comparing Spotify’s Ad Model with Other Streaming Services

Spotify’s advertising model sets it apart from other streaming services. 

Unlike competitors that only offer paid subscriptions or limited free trials without ads, Spotify provides a free-tier option with ads. 

This strategy enables Spotify to attract a larger user base while generating revenue through targeted advertising.

Below is a comparison of Spotify’s ads model with other streaming services’ ads models:

    • Pandora: Typically, an advertisement is played after every three to four songs, which may feel more frequent than Spotify’s ads.


    • Apple Music: Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not offer a free tier supported by ads. It solely provides a paid subscription service.


    • YouTube Music: In its free version, YouTube Music presents an ad before each video, which might feel quite frequent to users.


  • Amazon Music: Amazon Music Unlimited does not offer a free, ad-supported tier. However, Amazon Prime members can access a limited catalog without advertisements.

Impact of Ads on User Experience

Spotify ads play a crucial role in shaping the user experience for free users. 

While these ads can disrupt the music flow and potentially impact the listening experience, they also enable Spotify to offer a wide variety of music at no cost. 

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Ad breaks provide a mental break for users, as prolonged engagement with a single thing can be mentally taxing. 

However, it’s worth noting that 60% of users find these ads frustrating and believe they detract from their listening experience.

Reasons Behind Ads on Podcasts for Spotify Premium Users

Podcasts featured on Spotify sign royalty contracts granting full control over advertising and editing.

This contract ensures that podcast owners can manage their ads independently per the agreement. That’s why Spotify podcasts have ads even for premium users.

So, most Podcasts creators use Spotify ads to earn revenue, so they have included ads within their shows.

Spotify premium users can stream ad-free music, but they can’t avoid ads during podcasts until the creator has chosen to include them.

ads on spotify free version

Why Am I Not Seeing Ads on the Free Version of Spotify?

If you haven’t been active on the Spotify platform recently, the algorithm might require time to catch up and tailor the ads to your preferences.

Advertisers want to grow their business and reach their target audience, so if you’re not an active Spotify user, you may not often see ads on Spotify.

Once you become more active and spend quality time on Spotify, Spotify’s algorithm catches you up and will show you ads.

What Algorithm Spotify Uses For Showing Ads?

Spotify uses a combination of algorithms to show ads to its users, and one of the algorithms involved is the Radio algorithm. 

The Radio algorithm is primarily used in the context of Spotify’s personalized radio stations, such as “Discover Weekly” and “Daily Mixes.”

So, when you listen to personalized radio stations, Spotify catches you up and shows ads.

Which Ads Spotify Shows To Its Free Users?

Spotify presents three types of advertisements to its free users: audio, video, and display ads.

Audio ads are played when the user is not actively engaged with the screen. Depending on the user’s activity and location, these ads typically last for 15-30 seconds.

Video ads, on the other hand, are played when the user is actively interacting with the mobile screen. Similar to audio ads, these videos last 15-30 seconds, depending on the user’s activity level.

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Lastly, display ads are prominently showcased within the Spotify client, appearing in various locations, such as the cover art area and the playlist header. 

These ads encompass various categories, including music releases, concerts, and advertisements from various brands spanning different industries.

How To Limit Spotify Ads In Free Version?

There is currently no official method to limit ads on Spotify. The only way to enjoy an ad-free experience is by purchasing a Spotify premium subscription. 

While some third-party apps claim to block ads on Spotify, it is important to note that this practice is unethical. Ads on Spotify generate revenue that helps the platform license music from artists.

It is worth mentioning that Spotify offers a wide selection of music for free users without any charges. In return, users are shown ads, which is a fair trade-off.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why does Spotify play so many ads for free users?

Spotify plays ads for free users to generate revenue, which supports their ability to license and stream various music.

Do Ads on Spotify Contribute to Artist Royalties?

Yes, the revenue from ads contributes to the licensing fees and royalties that Spotify pays artists.

Can I Skip Ads While Using Spotify’s Free Version?

No, ads are non-skippable in the free version of Spotify to ensure a revenue stream for the platform.

Why Are There Ads in Podcasts for Spotify Premium Users?

Ads in podcasts are included by content creators to generate revenue, even for Spotify Premium users.

Is There Any Way to Limit Ads on Spotify?

Currently, the only official method to remove ads on Spotify is to purchase a Spotify Premium subscription.


The article concluded that Spotify plays ads for free users to generate revenue, which supports their ability to license and stream a wide variety of music.

Hopefully, now you should know why Spotify has so many ads and all the related queries.

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