Millions of people from around the world use Spotify on a daily basis. It is, after all, one of the best streaming music services available right now. Unfortunately, it’s also been serving up malware to some of its users.
According to complaints on the Spotify forum, multiple Spotify Free users were hit with malware while kicking back and listening to some tunes. The problem was Spotify delivering adverts laden with malware. These would open malicious websites without permission, exposing users to malicious software.
PSA: uninstall Spotify free, their ads are plagued with malware right now. pic.twitter.com/DUOqDrnDUZ
— Volp (@VolpRS) October 5, 2016
Spotify responded quickly to the complaints and removed the offending ads from circulation before they could do too much damage. Spotify also issued a statement clarifying the situation, telling Engadget:
“A small number of users have experienced a problem with questionable website pop ups in their default browsers as a result of an isolated issue with an ad on our free tier. We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
None of which will be any consolation or comfort to the Spotify users already hit with malware. And if you’re a Spotify Free user you should remain vigilant in case this problem rears its ugly head again in the future. Or upgrade to Spotify Premium to remove the ads (and risk) entirely.
The Danger of Relying on Ads for Revenue
This looks bad on Spotify, as it is essentially the gatekeeper connecting advertisers with users in this instance. However, any website or service which delivers ads to its users could suffer a similar fate. Including your very own MakeUseOf. We serve ads, in case you hadn’t noticed.
The key to dealing with these issues is identifying any source of malware and removing it from circulation. Which, in this instance, Spotify did with impressive speed. And at least Spotify offers a free ad-supported version of its service, unlike Apple Music.
Were you one of the unfortunate users hit with malware while listening to Spotify? How badly was your system compromised? Does this lessen your trust for Spotify? Or make you consider upgrading to Spotify Premium? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Olle Eriksson via Flickr