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Spotify Could Ban You for Using Ad-Blockers

Dave Parrack 11-02-2019

Spotify has updated its Terms of Service, which now explicitly prohibit the use of ad-blockers. Spotify already uses various methods to detect and deal with people using ad-blockers, but the music streaming service is now upping the ante.


For the uninitiated, ad-blockers are tools that can hide ads from view. They’re extremely harmful to websites such as MakeUseOf which rely on advertising revenue. And even brands with paying subscribers are now battling the scourge of ad-blockers It's About Ethics in Stealing Games Journalism: Why AdBlock Needs to Die A simple, free browser plugin killed Joystiq – and is ruining the Internet. Read More .

Spotify Cracks Down on Ad-Blockers

Spotify’s Terms of Service now state that “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service” is “not permitted for any reason whatsoever”.

Spotify warns that it could terminate or suspend your access to the Spotify Service at any time for breaking this rule (or any of the other rules outlined in its ToS). So unless you want to risk getting banned from using Spotify you should stop using an ad-blocker.

For Spotify users the choice is very simple. If you want to use Spotify without hearing or seeing ads, pay for a Premium subscription. And if you either don’t want to pay or can’t afford to pay, then you owe it to Spotify to listen to the occasional ad.

Of course people want stuff for free. But if you’re using an ad-blocker you have to realize that Spotify still pays for the music you’re listening to. And by choosing to bypass that 30-second advert you’re harming a service you obviously enjoy using.


Spotify Alternatives Worth Checking Out

There is another option, which is to switch from Spotify to another music streaming service which has a different attitude to ad-blockers. So if that’s the option for you check out our article pitting Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited Amazon Music vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which Is Best for You? This comparison of Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, and Spotify, will help you find the best music streaming service for you. Read More .

Image Credit: Beau Giles/Flickr

Related topics: Ad-Blockers, Online Advertising, Spotify, Streaming Music.

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  1. brandon
    April 24, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    are you really harming them by blocking ads, when the only ads they ever play is for their premium service?

  2. Bob
    February 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Bye Bye Spotify.Google Music is Coming

  3. Bob
    February 12, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    "Occasional " Ad.Also we cant do whatever we want with our devices if.Also does Spotify know that theres a butron on their site that says "Create Account"

  4. Jose Lincoln
    February 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    We have more of a right to do what the hell we want with our devices and services more than any other government entity or otherwise franchise and business. We're not here on this Earth to become cash cows for these businesses that want to monopolize and manipulate with their in their means...

    • Sf
      February 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      If you do not want ads then why do you object to paying?

      • brandon
        April 24, 2019 at 7:52 pm

        because i cannot have more than 10,000* songs in a playlist

  5. K2k
    February 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Seeing ads and listening to small clip of ads is not my problem. Forced shuffle play and limited skip is what makes me use modded app on my phone. I'm okay seeing ads on my laptop as I can listen to my choice of songs.

  6. Sam
    February 12, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I understand the business model and that Spotify needs to generate advertising revenue to pay the rights owners to the music. And I am happy to have to listen to an ad between each couple of songs. I am even happy with the way they are trying to push you to their subscription by withholding certain features for the free users.
    However, as pointed out below, my computer, my rules. I simply don't trust the advertising networks enough to not deliver malicious content to my computer to allow them to display their content. I don't want Facebook or Google to track me for their own gain. And for that reason... I'm out.

  7. folkraider
    February 12, 2019 at 7:11 am

    These whining idiots that complain about that should start PAYING for music that was created by hard-working musicians instead of wanting everything for free. This attitude sucks so badly. Either pay and get music ad-free or shut the fu** up.
    Even better: buy music directly from the artist on CD or vinyl. Streaming doesn't help smaller bands and artists. Spotify without paying a dime has to stop immediately!

    • dragonmouth
      February 12, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Please spare us the heart-rending sob story. RIAA and its members used the same BS story about the starving artists to justify their actions when they were eradicating Napster and Lime Wire and others. Studios were raking money in hand over fist while they were paying peanuts to all artists other than the top echelon.

      How much of the money Spotify makes off ads goes to Spotify and how much goes to the artists themselves? By demanding no ad-blockers, Spotify is maximizing their profit with little, if any, of that money going to the artists.

      I don't mind paying the artists but I DO mind a company telling me what I can do with MY computer especially when that company is ripping off the artists.

      • MA
        February 13, 2019 at 4:46 pm

        Please spare us the heart-rending sob story. Evil Spotify ripping off artists. Don't use THEIR service and move on if you think it's not a fair service, you will forced to move on anyway you will be banned.

  8. Tony
    February 12, 2019 at 6:24 am

    This seems to be a case of Spotify reacting without thinking. I'm sure the other big dogs on the block, Apple and Amazon, are salivating. They're just going to be waiting for all the disgruntled Spotify users to start looking at the alternatives.

    • IHDP
      February 12, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      Yes, Tony, two companies that properly charge money will be glad to let you leave Spotify's free service and pay them to use their service instead. #Genius

  9. John Doe
    February 12, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I am okay with a few ads with Spotify, that is not my problem.

    The issue is Spotify forcing me to shuffle play anything not on Discover Weekly on their mobile app. No manual song selection on my own playlists... Wtf?

    This the exact reason I choose to use a modded Spotify client on my iOS and Android devices.

    If Spotify would fix this one simple feature, I would go back to using it full-time in a heartbeat. I don't mind ads - I mind unnecessary tampering with the user experience.

    Does anyone else agree?

  10. Joe Mama
    February 12, 2019 at 1:22 am

    I'll stick with Pandora or other means tyvm.

  11. dragonmouth
    February 11, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    My computer, my rules! NOT Spotify rules.

    • MA
      February 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      Their service, their rules! NOT your rules. If you don't like it don't use it, move on, you will be forced to move on anyway, you will be banned.

  12. RPWheeler
    February 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    - Spotify is not accessible in the country I live anyway.
    - People don't want to get ads for a reason.
    - For any attempt to force ads there be attempts to escape them.
    - We'll see if sites banning adblockers be more popular than those who not

    Personally I don't mind "unobtrusive" ads (as those Google text ones), but ads I get are usually not like that, and I may have banned some ad networks completely, not even by adblocker but by host file.

    • Sf
      February 12, 2019 at 3:54 pm

      So pay? Why not?