Spotify is halting political ad sales in the U.S. early next year, Ad Age reported Friday. Political advertising will not run for the 130 million listeners of its ad-supported plan or its original and exclusive podcasts.
Spotify told Ad Age in a statement that it does “not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content.”
Why we care
Tech platforms have been grappling with how to handle political advertising on their sites, particularly ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In November, Twitter announced a ban on promoting political content. “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn and Bing do not allow political advertising.
Facebook introduced new rules for political campaign and issue ads in 2018, requiring advertisers to be verified. However, Facebook refuses to fact check political ads.
Spotify’s new policy will cover candidates, elected and appointed officials, nonprofits and political parties and Super PACs as well as advocacy content around political entities and legislative or judicial outcomes, Ad Age reported.
More on the news
- Spotify said it will “reassess this decision” as its capabilities evolve.
- Political advertising accounts for a small fraction of Spotify’s ad business and halting it likely won’t have a material impact.
- As of this writing, the company had not yet updated its policy page, which continues to list U.S. political ads as restricted but not banned: “Political advertising (candidates, campaigns, issues) is permitted in the U.S. subject to restrictions. We do not accept political advertising outside the U.S.”