Spotify has a pretty cheap paid option that removes all of that. To those who justify wanting the paid service for nothing by saying Spotify won't "take responsibility" or "assume liability" for their ads or those ads "might deliver malware" or are "intrusive" as a weak rationalization, you present a false dichotomy. There are at least three options:
1. Pay for the service
2. Suffer through the ads
3. Don't use the service
This thread is an object lesson in why basically every large service on the Internet is ad-supported. When people aren't willing to pay for 1-2 coffees for a month of unlimited music streaming are you really surprised that companies have no choice to use an advertising revenue model?
To tell Spotify “I’d use your service if you added an option where the ads didn’t give 3rd parties the ability to run JS on my system” is different from “I picked your current ad-supported option and then prevented the ads from running”.
Seems simpler to do this than get into a technical arms race with users.
The main gripe is using adsense which can still often be used to deliver malware.
I pay to not get ads, so I'm not really motivated to explore avoiding them.
But if you try to advertise at me no matter what I do, or overestimate what I would pay, I will join in the arms race against your advertisers. I'll block the ads, and block the ad-blocker detectors, and block the ad-blocker-detector-blocker detectors. I'll crunch your cookies, and squash your pixel, and firewall your home-phoner.
Maybe I put a 30-minute buffering program on the audio stream that the music program is allowed to use, and tell that program to skip ahead during the ads. Maybe I also train another program to recognize the ads, and tell the first program exactly how far to skip ahead. Maybe I lock the music program in the matrix, and control all the data it tries to get from the system, to the point that it cannot ever say what reality truly is.
There's something to be said for just playing the ad audio without trying to ensure someone is listening, or identifying who it might be. After all, Spotify could be playing music to a cat in an otherwise empty house, with the mobile device quietly displaying "Now playing 'Meow Mix Theme - Metal Version' on device 'Bluetooth speaker'."
(If that song actually exists, I cannot attest to its quality, because I swear I thought I was making it up.)
I will tell you why the VCR was different: TV shows didn’t play on demand, so you had a legitimate reason to record stuff.
It was an annoying enough experience. Although I mostly upgraded to paid option for the high bit rate audio. Music sounds so much crispier.
Making users pay for no ads may not be enough to nudge them over. Offering a premium pro is definitely a viable model.
They are also shockingly bad with snooping on you and sharing data.
Ads that come from third parties are open to exploitation and not properly vetted, not to mention may be jarring to your experience.
And to top it all the money was going to effectively top playing radio artists :( direct purchase of flacs from the artist FTW. If you are going to pay for a service make it dropbox or something else more agnostic / flexible.
For me it was annoying enough to stop using spotify.
They know the ads are annoying and can turn users away. So they nudge the users with one of those "hey, these ads suck don't they? pay us for an ad-free experience" during ad spots or in place of ad spots.
I don't think I've used another service that uses so many of their prime ad spots to try to advertise getting rid of ads.
This may also suggest that Spotify makes much much much less than $10/user/month on ads. So much less that they can afford not to show paid ads in an ad spot if it'll lead to more paying users. Which I'd agree. Or maybe supply and demand kicks in and they just up their ads pricing as a result of showing less ads. But I don't think the ad-buying market can bear increases in ad pricing, otherwise facebook could just up their ads pricing instead of destroying the newsfeed with so many ads, which hurts user retention.
On a related note, Spotify's volume controls should never be touched, because no matter what you set the music volume to, ads will play at full volume. It's usually louder than the music anyway, but the damage to your ears can be minimized.
Why can’t the mute button just be a physical switch!?!?!?
I suppose I have to whitelist Spotify ad servers. What a shit show.
They get my ears. At the volume I dictate.
If they exceed that threshold, then into the trash they go. Spotify is no better.
Why would you want to encourage Spotify to adopt this horrible practice? I don't WANT ads injected into the audio.
I'm fine with paying for the service and DO (Spotify Premium).
I also use other services on occasion and HATE when the audio is interrupted with ads.
Show visual ads all day long, that's fine. Audio ads just suck. Especially when they raise the volume threshold for commercials.
The only people who can force me to pay is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Everyone else can persuade me
(And apple music and Amazon - I think I need to rationalise that one)
I think that the Apple / Amazon model is more appealing - pay us first or basically you get nothing.
I guess this is the early signs of the Freemium
model falling apart.
Installing an ad blocker is within someone's full legal right.
Why are you making false statements regarding what is or is not a crime?
Personally, I haven't jumped on the streaming music thing (iTunes Match is about as close as it gets for me with buying CDs or MP3s to add to it in time), but I don't think what they're doing is a bad thing.
Now, if you have some means to force the various ad networks to prevent hijacking a device and then telling me congratulations for being an Amazon customer and some random item blinks on my screen, I'm all ears. But ads in and of themselves, I don't have a problem with.
Companies have a habit of trying to squeeze all kinds of stuff into their ToS/AUP, hoping they can get away with it.
Who'd want to bet Spotify's bans would survive both a) the courts, and b) public opinion? Remember they'd need to win in both.
b) absolutely - most people either don't use ad blockers, and of those that do, most people are not militantly committed to them. There will be a set of people who stop using the service out of principle, but almost all of them weren't making any revenue for spotify anyway.
The only risk to spotify I can see is if they use somekind of nefarious method to detect ad-blockers (eg root kits) and I 1) don't think they're that stupid 2) don't think they would be necessary or useful anyway.
I guess another risk is if they force people to turn off ad blockers, then accidentally serve them malware, but afaik, various other sites have done this and nobody seems to care.
Conversely, any (non-critical) service has the right to stop showing us ads or serving us in any other way.
The closer you are to a monopoly, the more required you should be to serve all. We don't allow the electric company to kill your power because you made disparaging emails or bad messages online.
And if you're a monopoly, you should be dealt with heavy handedly. Because power and money only further power and money. Anti-competition laws stem that to an extent.
Music streaming isn’t the kind of good that falls under common carrier so I don’t think the analogy of the electric company fits. People can easily go through life not subscribed to one. I for one only have iTunes Match which isn’t the all-you-can-eat style of Spotify/Apple Music/Play Music/Amazon Music/Tidal/etc.
Creating another copy or playthrough of a song without permission doesn't have zero cost, fine, but the entire conversation is cheapened when people talk like it's the same thing as pocketing a cassette tape from a store.
You switched the topic from receiving for personal use to distributing. Demand promotes supply, I'm not unaware, but that doesn't make them equivalent - unless we'd like to equate drugdealing with possession, and scalping with buying a secondhand concert ticket? You also escalated from 'distribution' like burning a CD for a friend to invading someone's computer and publicizing a nonpublic work. This is the same sort of dodge the RIAA has been using for years, pursuing downloads and uploads indifferently and targeting private, unpaid sharing with laws aimed at systematic, for-profit fraud.
But even ignoring every part of that, yes. It's still a rhetorical trick. Theft is, by legal, dictionary, and common-use definitions, an act that deprives the victim of the stolen property. Stealing King's manuscript off his editor's desk would be theft. Copying the book would be a lot of things, like a real CFAA violation, probably either B&E or wire fraud, and debatably trespass to chattels. Posting it online would prompt another list of crimes and civil suits relating to the potential monetary harm to King.
I'm not excusing all acts described as 'piracy' or 'theft'. I'm saying that the label actually matters, and the discussion is harmed by applying law and rhetoric about deprivation to an act of duplication.
It's just a rhetorical trick that pro-theft people (people who steal the hard earned labor of other people because of entitlement or, perhaps, just devotion to technical pedantry) use to justify their immoral behavior.
The creators of the content intended it to be available for purchase only and distributed it so that only those who pay could listen.
When you violate that intellectual property, you steal from them. You steal their labor, their time, their blood sweat and tears.
I'm always fascinated at the kind of evil it takes to justify this kind of stealing.
Just because they don't want you to have access to their labor doesn't mean you're entitled to it, no matter how many rhetorical tricks like "Personal Use" you use.
The Free Software movement has been fighting against this exact mentality for decades. Digital autonomy should be a basic human right. Anyone should be able to download and execute whatever code they want on their own computer.
Spotify also has this right, of course, and is free to block users if they choose. I am not morally obliged to support their business model. At the same time, I choose to have a paid Spotify account because it's more convenient.
Spotify can refuse me service if they have a problem with this (no free music), but they can't make me feel guilty for blocking ads.
The original comment seems to argue that ad-blockers are morally wrong, which I disagree with. Ad-blockers are a morally neutral technology, even if they hurt some company's bottom line. Companies that dislike this reality can deploy technical countermeasures, like Spotify is doing.
If you don't like it, then go change the law.
please see "end of freemium" comment
If someone opens a shop and invites me to walk around, browse and chat, then that's nice - maybe i will buy.
but saying "now you must pay an entrance fee because you are wearing earphones - we want customers to listen to our trained shop staff" is kind of defeating the point.
yes they can set up weird rules for their shop, but it's dishonest to change the game now, and frankly counter productive
You agree to their terms before entering the shop. Everyone understands and knows this. Pretending you don't know their terms is willful ignorance. The moral issues here have been settled in law for centuries now. The only thing that actually changed is technical capability.
A much better analogy is this: You walk into a music store, and there is a sign that says "Please do not play the instruments". The shop owner walks out of the store, and you start playing the guitars because "they're not here to enforce it, so the rule doesn't apply".
I personally chose not to use Spotify at all, but I'm not going to fault anyone for using it with a thrid-party blocker. Even if Spotify didn't also do advertising the right way (e.g. branded playlists (I believe paying users get those too)), no one is obligated to subject themselves to personal harm, even if someone is dumb enough to expose people to that risk as a subsidy for their service, no matter how useful the service is.
You don't have a right to use Spotify how you want.
It's an online service, not a piece of personal property.
If Spotify wants to refuse to fulfill requests for one resource (e.g. songs) separate from requests for another resource (e.g. ads), I have absolutely no problem with that. But if Spotify chooses (as appears to be the case, at least before this account suspension policy) to fulfill both requests independent of one another, I believe I have the right to make either request, both requests, or neither request.
In other words, I have absolutely no qualms with users using ad blocking software, just like I have no problem with users using firewalls, antivirus software, or content restriction software. And I also have no problem with Spotify attempting to prevent this activity, either by making ad blocking technically infeasible (radio figured this out over 100 years ago), or by suspending accounts that violate their terms (especially free accounts, since the customer would have no case that Spotify owes them a refund or compensation).
The agreement between you and your significant other is that both parties will be faithful and to perform various duties within the relationship. Also, if the marriage is ended, both parties leave with their individual things/pay/etc.
You decide to play the field. Your significant other decides to leave you and you are now responsible for the tasks/financials that your significant other previously assisted with.
In agreements, you can't pick and choose the terms of the agreement you're willing to subject yourself to once they're settled (beyond renegotiating). In the Spotify case, they literally get nothing out of the arrangement if someone blocks their ads on the free tier whereas the person blocking said ads would be of the belief they're owed limitless listening to free music? That's pretty comical.
Should I be expected to monitor changes to a living document that I never read in the first place in order to know whether the current version means I am married to Spotify and act accordingly?
Spotify is the one who defaulted first by not providing me the limitless free music I am owed.
I’m curious how you’re certain they defaulted first when you state that you never read the document in the first place.
I'm sorry that was sarcasm. I didn't make any assumptions I just clicked the box or button or whatever.
A lot of services that I’ve signed up with will announce new terms either via email (quick search of my email lists the most recent ones as Papa Johns, PlayStation, Disney Movie Rewards, Skype, Gamestop) or on next launch of app (Blizzard and Steam being prominent ones off the top of my head). I don’t know many that announce they will in advance though (ie at sign up saying they’ll communicate changes to you), so probably better to be proactive than reactive? I don’t know.
Q: Would Spotify refund users that they ban?
8 Rights you grant us
In consideration for the rights granted to you under the Agreements, you grant us the right (1) to allow the Spotify Service to use the processor, bandwidth, and storage hardware on your Device in order to facilitate the operation of the Service, (2) to provide advertising and other information to you, and (3) to allow our business partners to do the same. In any part of the Spotify Service, the Content you access, including its selection and placement, may be influenced by commercial considerations, including Spotify’s agreements with third parties. Some Content licensed by, provided to, created by or otherwise made available by Spotify (e.g. podcasts) may contain advertising as part of the Content. The Spotify Service makes such Content available to you unmodified.
It has nothing to do with whatever the user does to avoid being exposed to those ads.
This seems more akin to cable services here. For all intents and purposes, all of the channels they provide are served to the home, but they then restrict based off the package you’re paying for. In Spotify’s case instead of restricting (unless they have premium only channels/content), they’re adding advertisements. To block the ads is analogous to using a method to remove the restriction on channels you can access, and the typical remedy is to terminate the service to that customer and/or seeking civil remedies.
An analogy to cable services would be if you had something installed on your TV that automatically switched channel or put on a cat youtube video, when the commercials are on on and switched back when the commercials were done.
Your example would be an analogy to having a script on Spotify which gave you access to some premium music library that only paying customers should have access to.
If it isn’t against the agreement directly, it certainly is against the spirit of it. And that holds a lot of weight. Because what is the point of being able to show you advertisements if you’re going to block them from even rendering?
I get it. I don’t like ads either. Well, I’m generally fine if they make some degree of sense (none of the odd ones where it has a picture of an onion partially covered by a sock or something) or don’t hijack the browser (massive redirect that eats back history and presents me with some “congratulations, click here” thing). But if I don’t like the ads, I’m free to either pay for Spotify without advertisements or not use Spotify at all. No one is holding a gun to my head that I must have them (and I don’t after a promo period with Sprint) and they do have to pay licensing for that music (to include some kind of fee per x streams of given songs to ASCAP or whatever). That doesn’t even factor in the infrastructure requirements on their end. So why would anyone expect this to be totally free to a user?
> circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service
However if I change the country id to "us" I get the same version as you, and I can see this new section 9.10.
If I google the new text, I find articles from yesterday about Spotify changing their terms in order to ban users using adblockers. So it appears that up until now, users has not had any agreement with Spotify that they will not block or circumvent ads.
At least in the US terms. No idea for other countries.
Of course they have that right. Spotify has no right to restrict how anyone uses their service.
They're about to trivially prove that exact point by terminating accounts that use ad blockers.
Being barred from the service is not some sort of injustice or violation of your rights, especially after breaking the terms.
The people in this thread claiming they can do whatever they want and block ads is true. That does not give them some sort of moral high ground, just because they can.
I would say it's unlikely that Spotify would even send a C&D to an adblocking user, but the folks that make their own apps to bypass the advertising or rip the streams are at legal risk.
I have watched people do exactly this as well as many variations on this theme...at Starbucks.
Additionally, good on your baristas for being flexible, though the corporate office might object and come down on them if they found they were offering this, as they're either losing money or making less money serving you then they'd make if they served a different customer - so the time to make your drink would be particularly economically suboptimal.
Anyways, these are mostly fiddly points and my original comment was less about the fact that businesses always did things like this... and more about the fact that they do have the right to refuse. If you go in one day and a different barista is behind the machine, they may refuse your request and so it goes - alternatively maybe your usual barista got a talking to from management and can't do it any more. Either of these cases work, declining partial service is an option for a business... in fact, declining normal service is also usually an option, maybe you're going to a ramen place that's open until 7 and arrive well before, but the owner has a headache and is closing up at 5:30 when you walk in - you're not _owed_ service.
The only exception to this is cases where people have historically been terrible and the government has specifically stepped in, if you were black and starbucks refused to serve you after serving a white customer and before serving another white customer then the onus would be on them to rationalize why they refused service (and they'd probably end up paying a hefty fine or being targeted by a lawsuit).
In a lot of ways you can't really compare it to real world examples, because even within corporate chains individual employees can just say fuck it and choose to give the customer a discount or a custom order or allow something they shouldn't.
With an online business like Spotify that utilizes algorithms and automatic actions, this is unlikely to ever happen.
Having worked in a few customer service jobs, or hell even now where I work now, you'd be surprised what customers think they're owed vs what they actually are and how often they do end up getting their way.
In some ways maybe it's because of this people take this mentality onto the web and expect to be able to do the same things.
The real world usually ends up being a lot more grey than the black and white of the legalese and terms and conditions of the internet.
Walking in a Starbucks and using the free WiFi without buying anything is a better example.
(actually Starbucks does not feel at ease doing that after the whole two men / racism fiasco, but they should feel justified in doing that).
Obviously what a "customer" entails is up for legal debate, but it generally does not include people who purchase nothing from Sbux.
I have no obligation to make a business profitable.
Do we have an obligation to allow script in our browsers? >90% of my "news reading" on the internet is done with NoScript running; from my point of view it's all good, no ads, no GDPR pop-ups, pages load quickly, fewer worries about tracking.
It's probably not what publishers want, though.
I think that websites do, legally, have the right to refuse you service if you run NoScript and some websites go through crazy hoop to exercise that right. I _suspect_ that using NoScript to alter the page is actually illegal under current intent since that usage could cause the software to misperform and potentially cause damages and it violates the agreed upon usage contract on that site. That said, it's _mostly_ unenforceable on a technical level (usually it's at least not cost effective to do) and I personally think it's unethical to force people to run malware to view your content - it needs a clearer definition in the law though, all this stuff is stupid hazy.
Yet some would say the pages get altered by the scripts that stuff in the awful ads
In any case, you don't need an add-in to disable scripting. Hell, use curl to fetch the damned page. That's about as "pure" a way of fetching one as you can get.
The day they rule that curl is illegally blocking ads is the day I become a monk.
IMHO, ad-driven business model is OK, but implementation matters. If site will _serve_ me with ads, I will use it. If site will try to abuse me with ads, then I will try to shield me from this abuse.
I have ideas how to solve Spotify problems, but it looks like Spotify employee are downvoting opponent comments to death, so they will have my f*ck instead of hint.
They could force them to be. And socially, are. But, they're not technically.
Also, nobody can be forced to listen to something.
The debate in this thread is not "what can you technically do?", but rather "who has the moral high ground?"
Spotify gets to dictate who gets to use their product though.
OR, he could install an ad blocker. It is completely legal to use ad blockers. Thats the law. If you don't like the law, then go change it.
If Spotify wants to deliver free music bundled with advertisements, it's on them to implement that bundling correctly. If their implementation is two endpoints, one that returns music and another that returns ads, and they just politely suggest that everyone who uses the first endpoint also uses the second, I am in no way obligated to follow their suggestion.
Spotify is free to implement a less laughable implementation of ad bundling, and they're free to block my free account if they don't like my behavior, but I will always oppose any claim that I am obligated to make a request to endpoint B (and execute the code it returns!!!) if I make a request to endpoint A.
For clarity, the "I" in the above paragraphs is hypothetical. I don't use Spotify, but I do pay for Apple Music (not because I feel like I owe them, but because I like the service and think it is worth the price).
It would be like not knowing what insurance company you will have to use until you walk into your apartment for the first time.
Section 8 and 9 of the Spotify T&C is what you are looking for, btw.
One cannot steal data by not watching ads because you can't deprive the owner of said data. Misusing a word to evoke an emotional response is intellectually dishonest and manipulative. Entitled is another overused manipulative term.
I am in fact entitled to decide what runs on my computer and spotify is entitled to decide who accesses theirs. If spotify closes accounts for not watching ads and I choose to block ads literally nobody is in the wrong. We are both exercising our respective rights.
At that point it becomes a discussion on what is prudent.
If you arne't in the habit of reading 5-10 pages of legalese when you walk into random stores I wonder why you believe people will read 5-10 pages of legalese before reading the dozens of sites they visit. People care about the terms and conditions exactly when they are informed of being in breach of them and only to the extent that being in breach of them effects their life.
In this case it seems incredibly likely that said users who aren't customers in the first place even if some of them watch ads will just watch free music on youtube.
On net spotify will save money on bandwidth which is incredibly cheap to start with, gain a modicum of new subscribers, and shrink their supply of free users that are their primary source of paid users.
Presumably they are in the best position to figure out if this is worth it and we shall all see.
Well, it is. Spotify grants you the temporary license to play the copyrighted song for you listening to their ads. They _pay_ for the right to distribute that song. It's like taking something from a store and refusing to pay for it because "that store does not decide where my money goes".
> I am in fact entitled to decide what runs on my computer and spotify is entitled to decide who accesses theirs. If spotify closes accounts for not watching ads and I choose to block ads literally nobody is in the wrong. We are both exercising our respective rights.
> On net spotify will save money on bandwidth which is incredibly cheap to start with, gain a modicum of new subscribers, and shrink their supply of free users that are their primary source of paid users.
Well, as said above, they pay licensing fees and that is actually most of their business cost. I highly doubt that they loose many customers who would bring in any money with this move.
There are a number of pieces of actual property involved but the user isn't carting off Spotify's servers and spotify isn't breaking into the users home and stealing their laptops.
What you do want to cart of is the users autonomy to manage how their actual property is used in service to an imaginary moral duty to be brainwashed by propoganda based on terms and conditions that we don't agree are a moral obligation.
You have a moral right to the actual money your users have agreed to pay you if you provide the agreed upon service.
The fact that you actually believe that you can buy their thoughts, their autonomy, their attention, and their time with your cheap crap doesn't mean if they opt not to give you those things you have been stolen from because those things were never for sale and you can't own them.
The best you can do is not do business if you feel like the deal isn't mutually beneficial. Take your ball and go home if you like but don't be dumb enough to call your users thieves for claiming unalienable rights to their own brains and machines.
> a: to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully
Using Spotify without paying them, either directly or by watching ads, falls under that definition. The fact that there is no actual object being taken does not impact this.
If you create a great piece of software and I copy and then sell it, would you not consider it stealing? After all, you still have your copy.
Or, if a client contracts you to configure his network and then refuses to pay, is that not stealing your work? After all, you just used knowledge and time. Nothing stolen here, you still have your knowledge and you can surely make a copy of the configuration files :)
> The fact that you actually believe that you can buy their thoughts, their autonomy, their attention, and their time with your cheap crap doesn't mean if they opt not to give you those things you have been stolen from because those things were never for sale and you can't own them.
I don't believe you can buy their thoughts and I don't think Spotify attempts to. But you can definitely buy their time. That's exactly what you sell when you're employed.
> The best you can do is not do business if you feel like the deal isn't mutually beneficial. Take your ball and go home if you like but don't be dumb enough to call your users thieves for claiming unalienable rights to their own brains and machines.
Again, I totally agree. I would not use Spotify with Ads either. But if I'm not willing to fulfill my side of the deal, be it paying with time or money, I'm in no way entitled to their service.
 From: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steal
The relationship you have with your employees is the inverse of the relationship you have with your users. I think you don't understand the idea of entitlement anymore than stealing.
They aren't entitled to spotify if spotify doesn't want to do business with them but they are entitled to have a negative opinion about spotify and or spotify's actions.
The fact that an increasing share of spotify's users neither want to pay them or watch their ads is a failure on Spotify's part to capture those potential users and reliance on a business model that is fundamentally stupid.
The fact that ad supported multimedia worked for so long is not an indication of future longevity. Horses were a great method of transportation for longer.
Intellectual property is virtually nothing like property.
Section 9, item 5 only mentions "circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service". Nothing about "third party" ads, when "third party" is explicitly mentioned in other rules, separate from "the Spotify Service". If they legally can, I'm sure they'll "fix" that wording, at which point using a typical ad blocker with become lying, but still definitely not stealing. That rule is redundant anyway as it would required circumventing DRM, already illegal.
I guess there are plenty of "commandments" there, but they're all for show as they're either already illegal or fall under the fact that Spotify can deactivate your account whenever they want, even for reasons not listed there.
I could cut out a small rectangle of construction paper and create a robot with a computer vision apparatus, and have it follow me around, constantly check if an ad is visible on the screen, and dynamically block my field of vision to ensure I don’t see it.
Or I could miniaturize that whole thing and place it as a browser plugin or mobile app.
My screen is not Spotify’s property. They are allowed to TRY to display something on it, and it will only be displayed IF I LET THEM. There’s no discussion here.
And they will only send you that stream IF YOU LET THEM (display ads). That's the deal whether or not you like it. You don't get to substitute your own.
So, they win, you lose.
Glad we agree.
The person who sends it out to the world might write some things down or complain about what they want to control on my personal property, but it is just not relevant to anything. They are free to stop producing a freely available data stream if they don’t want to. Just like I am free to keep blocking certain infos they try to send me (ads).
What happens to the food on your table when people take that product or service without giving you money for it?
Such business is not sustainable. It will shutdown and will free taken resources back into the economy.
Is it really, when the solution I'm using to prevent ads from running is blocking a handful of 3rd party domains in my hosts file? I haven't taken away Spotify's capacity to run ads on my machine, only the 3rd party's capacity. Spotify could even test whether I'm interested in blocking first party ads by running their Spotify Premium ads this way.
On the whole, it seems like a more effective way to communicate blocking ads seems like a more effective way to communicate my distaste than abstaining from use of the service and contacting them (how?) to let them know I would use the service if get served ads directly. This way, they know exactly how much I use the service. That way, who's to say whether I'd actually use the service if they changed their ad serving model the way I say?
Also, they can do other things, such as starting a consumer revolt against Spotify, and by giving them bad publicity, that may cause paying users to remember about their unused account and cancel it.
Bad publicity costs companies a lot of money.
It's not unthinkable that ad blocking users are keeping money and attention away from Spotify's competitors, spreading enthusiasm about Spotify to more people who will become paying customers, and giving Spotify more ears and more user information to inform their decisions.
Ad blocking users cost, but only as much as a low-bitrate audio stream - and that should get cheaper every year. At some point, will it cross so they're not net-negatives?
Other services like twitch have done what you said and users are equally irate about ads they can't skip and are completely embedded.
Basically it sucks for all parties involved. But at the end of the day you have to monetize or die.
Also I feel a lot of users are voting that 2 coffees a month is too much for music. I'm an old so... but for most of my life music just came out of a box for free. Sure I didn't have much control over it. But when I use spotify I just or pandora or amazon I tend to just get a genre based station going and just let it roll. Just like radio. I don't have time to be futzing around with optimizing playlists and that, I literally just don't care about music very much. Hell one of my friends, when he wants to concentrate, just puts the same song on repeat all day long (8+ hours).
That used to cost: cost free, price of tape/cd ($16 / year way over priced), free(napster,piracy), free with ads (pandora)...
Hell I can't even stomach paying $12 / month to xm when I'm going to drive cross country with no coverage.
None of that is my problem as a user though. I'm not obligated to expose myself to malware so that Coca-Cola can accurately track how many people saw their ad.
A website is currently absolutely within their rights to decline you service if you refuse to be tracked by Coca-Cola's spyware ridden malware. This is a consequence of living in a society dominated by false cries to adhere to incorrectly stated libertarian ideals - regulation isn't all bad, though anti-competitive regulation tends to be bad (there is a grey area with incidentally introducing barriers to market entries to fulfill a social need... like everything - it's complicated).
If Spotify wants to suspend accounts for using adblockers, fine. I don't actually object. But I'm seriously disturbed by the number of comments here which equate using adblocked Spotify with 'stealing music' or otherwise imply that ToS violations are criminal acts. This sort of framing, by people who ought to know better, is why tech companies are still showing up in court pretending ToS violations are felonies under the CFAA. (And, thankfully, getting slapped down by increasingly-annoyed judges who understand the distinction.)
Creating a new copy of something is not the same as stealing the original, blocking ads is not the same as obtaining unauthorized access, security precautions aren't interchangeable with other approaches to adblocking, and violating a EULA is a civil matter.
Just to be clear, libretarianism is not incompatible with regulation - I happen to think that a certain amount of regulation and government oversight is required to allow things to function, I am an optimist about human behavior, but the ideal anarchist world with no laws is absolutely unsustainable, IMO. So my barb (and it wasn't even a sharp one) was more about the false painting of libretarianism being incompatible with government regulation and the talking points that ensue, then any desire to allow a focus on individual freedoms.
The highest-profile appeals to corporate interests are made by politicians who don't claim libertarian ideal. The ability to cut consumers off from non-essential, non-monopoly services for terms violations is standard throughout countries without any libertarian tradition, so the exotic element in the US is the legal protection for spyware creators and malware distributors, neither of which stem from libertarian theory. The spyware aspect is about the lack of a direct constitutional privacy protection, and the conservative/literalist readings which have steadily eroded the penumbra reasoning. The malware aspect is the result of repeated failures to hold companies responsible for allowing data breaches or serving exploits, which owes more to special interests pandering and gross technical ignorance among legislators than to even a pretense of libertarianism.
You're right to say that cutting off service access is legal, and you're right to say that the most influential form of libertarianism in the US is twisted and often counterproductive. But I suspect I'm not alone in finding the attribution of any business-related badness to libertarianism tiring and a bad basis for a productive conversation.
As an aside, isn't it amusing that getting an American education one of the skills that seems to be valued above others is the ability to twist words to whatever B.S. you need them to mean at the time, it's like everyone in the US is an expert marketer and political fixer/spin-man.
The US is incredibly thin on socialism, even nominal socialism, and we already see traces of this when public-interest arguments become convenient. The Net Neutrality fight is a hideously good example; once ISPs decided their monopolies were too blatant to use free market rationales, they went out and astroturfed a narrative where cheap and fair internet was an attack on minorities and the poor.
And yes, I can't deny that US libertarianism (the party and a lot of the individual voices) is weirdly pervaded by a willingness to abandon libertarian principles in deference to corporations. It wasn't that long ago that you could find conservatives complaining about excessive "civil libertarianism" in calls for social progress. Today, it's horribly easy to find people arguing that Wells Fargo should be allowed to stretch their forced arbitration clause to cover outright fraud, because apparently the bank's rights are the only ones which we need to protect.
It is a different landscape now than just buying a primetime slot, advertising is much much more about gleaming any piece of potentially useful personal information about a user for an advertisers own furure use or for sale to the highest bidder. And personally identifiable information held by third parties will never be secure as it is a challenge and a prize for talented people to steal.
And "acceptable ads" policies of blockers could require those properties. They wouldn't even need a fixed whitelist or cooperate with specific companies for that, all they have to do is allow iframes with appropriate CSP rules. I.e. it's a vendor-agnostic approach.
As a user, I do not care one iota about advertisers who "want all the data." They can all die in an adblock-fueled fire and I won't shed a tear. Their position of "[we] want all [your] data" is a selfish unwillingness to compromise.
However, I'd be willing to compromise with advertisers who agree to live in a sandbox that blocks tracking (but only as long as the page doesn't get too ad-laden).
Their desires aren't the only factor in the equation here. If they want to satisfy their desire to have their ads seen at all, they're going to have to sacrifice some of their other desires. If they expect the user make all the sacrifices, then they shouldn't complain when users like me mercilessly block them, encourage others to do so, and do what I can to encourage regulation that would destroy them.
I myself is skeptical about advertisements having future as such. In the age of the Internet, ads are the least useful method to discover product info.
The analogy for Internet ads today is like if modern cars were propelled by horses - an unviable arrangement. I know many online only companies making good money and spending literally zero on ads. The industry will eventually follow that path.
It is just about how you communicate with the buyer. For a mass market good, smarter people simply go to Alibaba.com and press ctrl+f these days, and about anything non-commodity people already know everything from subject matter websites.
Even on Alibaba itself, front page spots, and top line of search results are usually not human curated, and they cost surprisingly cheap.
Most traders there deject them outright. In consumer goods, they don't shy away to simply send few samples to paid reviewers (ones who do that openly) like Linus, NR, etc, and write honest, first hand articles about their own products in tech blogs.
All true and all irrelevant to his point.
I also use uBlock Origin to hide many elements on several pages only to improve legibility, expecially on mobile (hello Medium hosted sites! and many other fixed positioned menus.)
The other hard thing for a company is internally, you see normal ad revenue going down and you have some users you can deliver to via some methods. You have to crank that method up to account for it.
Ads is also interesting with the "how much money is enough money" argument. When do you stop monetizing.
In practice the second group is miniscule. There is zero incentive for companies to improve their practices and grow their market by targeting those people. Instead the only path to maximising profit is to increase the value they can get from people without ad blockers.
I find this rationale, while likely true for many readers on Hacker News, unlikely to generalize to overall population fo Spotify ad blockers.
What popular belief is this? The ready counterexample is the delivery of an ad to a vaccuum-tube TV in 1950.
1. It's not just 1 type of ad. In Little Snitch, I have permitted Spotify to connect to 281 different domain names, most of which are ad-related. That's a lot of companies being allowed to run JS in whatever webview Spotify uses to display ads. I don't listen much on my computer anymore.
2. They keep advertising deals to me - $0.99 for a month, or $9 for 3 months, that I can't subscribe to because they don't let people in Quebec sign up for them, (something related to the consumer protection laws here). These ads are audio, in-app visuals, and even E-mails. This leaves a horrible taste in my mouth, and I've let them know several times, but they never change it. That, combined with the fact that I feel like the $10/month subscription is a tad expensive, make me very reluctant to subscribe again, (I was a subscriber through my mobile phone plane for a long time). At $5/month I'd subscribe instantly. $7-8 I'd probably still do it. $9-10 I can buy 10-12 CDs per year that I own in perpetuity.
I feel like if they did the ads right, (in-house, with non-insulting geotargeting), or offered a subscription price closer to one latté per month, I would have a lot less animosity and be more supportive of this move.
This is good in other ways! One of the problems with Spotify is that the musicians don't really get paid a realistically useful amount. I say this as someone who has both a Spotify subscription and musician friends whose music is on Spotify.
That said, I personally find the subscription price surprisingly low for what I get, but I wouldn't try to tell you what to do with your money.
You have to install the Spotify App on your PC. Adding new songs has been incredibly flaky for me (not recognizing that I've put new songs in the folder, Windows 10). The artists and albums don't show up in the "Artists" or "Albums" part of my Spotify library.
To be fair, this is a pretty niche problem - tends to only be a problem when dealing with live music. So for example, if I have a concert recording, and make a playlist of those files for use in Spotify, Spotify will almost certainly replace at least one of those files with an album cut from the service. Now I'm left with a playlist of a live show that has had several tracks replaced with the _wrong_ version by Spotify.
The thing that initially drew me to Spotify was the fact that it made it pretty easy to integrate the music offered by the service with my personal library. I've always been disappointed that this feature was broken and left broken because the vast majority of people don't care about managing their own music libraries.
I'm a little salty about them closing off third-party development, but it's cool, they can do what they want with their stuff. I saw the writing on the wall a while ago when they were pushing Facebook integration like crazy -- as they become more and more anti-consumer, I'll simply avail myself of their services less and less until they offer me no value.
It's not an optimal solution, but iTunes can import songs from CDs, and you can add other mp3s to your library, but it doesn't cloud sync across devices.
Another solution is Google Play Music, which can import your iTunes library (and CDs indirectly from iTunes) and does do cloud sync.
Family sub for $14 month and $25 year for match to keep all my music even dodgy mp3s safe from bitrot is well worth it.
I move dozens of times a year, I no longer have to haul books and cds, I for one welcome my digital overlord.
There doesn’t seem to be a way for me to upload my own MP3s to the service like you can on Google Play Music.
It’s a separate service
The second way is if the file's fingerprint doesn't match any song in the iTunes Store catalog, then with iTunes Match, iTunes will actually upload the whole file and your other devices will then stream or download that exact file. There are some limits here; I think there's a limit on the song duration (not sure what it is but I'm pretty sure songs over 1 hour are past the limit), and there's a limit on total number of songs (at launch this was 25k; I think they've raised it higher but I don't know what the current limit is). Whatever the limits are, I do know my father's music collection (all manually ripped from a massive CD collection) is too large for iTunes Match, so he's stuck managing music the way we all used to do before Apple Music and iTunes Match came along.
As far as I'm aware, the Apple Music subscription supports the first mechanism but not the second, and the iTunes Match subscription is needed for the second option. That said, I'm not 100% positive.
The actually popular artists make great money from Spotify.
> The actually popular artists make great money
Is this so? As I recall, Spotify pays tenths of a U.S. cent per stream. The gross payout for a million streams is a few thousand dollars.
I do enjoy the personalized playlists a lot, though.
It's also amazing to discover stuff and follow new paths. Sure you could try to buy a random new album during a month, but that would be your whole exploration for that month, I could explore many more albums in a day. Right now I listen to a lot of a cappella group because of a good Pentatonix song I heard a few days ago.
I also enjoy just being able to listen to any CD. When I heard about A star is born, I was curious and I just had to open Google Music to listen to it, without paying more.
Would 12 CD a year would be enough to entertain myself? Yeah I have no doubt, but it wouldn't allow me to discover to having that much freedom.
I listened to the many versions Vivaldi's 4 seasons the other day and enjoyed hearing how different orchestras performed. I have taken a dives into 80s rap/hip hop, or hair bands, or whatever else strikes me.
Those types of exploration were not possible in the days on only buying CDs.
I'd rather just buy the album.
For that money I can rent a cheap DSL line with which I can download 10-12 terabytes of music for absolutely free and without ads
What companies frequently do instead is offer "pay N months, get N+1 months", such as getting 13 months for a yearly subscription. Spotify just never felt like modifying their offer for local laws, but I've nevertheless been a premium member for years now.
> When people aren't willing to pay for 1-2 coffees for a month of unlimited music streaming are you really surprised that companies have no choice to use an advertising revenue model?
No. But I get the sense you're trying to express moral indignation at such users, and I don't see the logic behind that. "I like $site_owner therefore I whitelist $arbirary_third_parties whose behavior cannot be controlled nor even really measured by $site_owner" isn't a workable/scalable lesson to try to teach users.
To be clear, I also don't see any reasonable argument to be morally indignant about Spotify blocking the blockers. This is the web as it currently exists.
Agreed. But I don't block ads just because ads are annoying. I don't even block ads because I don't like being tracked. My reason for blocking ads can be summed up in a single word.
As soon as ad networks began trying to spread malware through ads was when ads moved from being a nuisance to a serious security concern.
What is this stuff and where do I find it?
That being said, I find it OK for them to block users who try to get a paid service, for free. What isn't OK is the advertisement model. A better model in my eyes would be for limiting the free element of the service more and/or running unintrusive ads for the service itself. That way you could still push for more paying customers, without sacrificing the users who can't afford the product.
I do think their is a nuance between tracking how you use the app and letting third party systems track what you do, where you are, etc. Still, they are just a company, not a basic human need.
Unfortunately, it is unclear from both the article and the revised terms whether this is the case.
People go to extraordinary lengths to rationalize being outrageously cheap.
If pay spotify and you listen to metallica, you might not get ads on spotify, but you might get a link to Metallica merchandise on another website.
The GP's claims are nonsense, discounted by the most cursory investigation. Trotting out some tired rhetoric about advertisers being the real customer to explain away an unwillingness to pay the most trivial of amounts is just embarrassing for everyone. It's especially ironic given that so many are both trying to justify not paying for a worthwhile service while also trying to justify ripping off the same service because...ads, or something.
I mean, if they show you a notification that you should really sign-up for a paid subscription or disable your adblocker, this does not really seem a big deal for me and all right for Spotify. However, if they terminate your account because you happened to use Spotify for a while on a system with adblocking enabled (does being on a Pi-Hole network count?), I am wondering if they won't just drive a lot of potential customers to Apple Music & Co, which is the last thing they need right now... I mean, if they would terminate my account like this, I definitely would not come crouching back to them asking for mercy to be allowed to sign-up for a paid subscription. I mean, I do have some dignity left.
(I usually use Spotify using their apps, so without ad-blocking, but I cannot guarantee that I haven't been using their web player from time to time, too, and of course my browser has an enabled ad-blocker. I don't pay for Spotify because I buy my MP3s and use Spotify primarily to discover new songs.)
happened to use Spotify for a while on a system with adblocking enabled
drive a lot of potential customers
If they're not paying and blocking ads, they're not customers. And if they weren't willing to pay for Spotify, why would they suddenly be willing to pay for Apple Music?
being on a Pi-Hole network
The number of people setting up home filtering devices isn't even a rounding error to a service the size of Spotify. All of those people could disappear and they wouldn't even be noticed.
Ditto for the number of people who might just happen to end up on an ad-restricted network at a friend's house.
Well, because they have been terminated by Spotify, of course. I mean, it is pretty easy to imagine that your preferences are "free Spotify with blocked ads is better than Spotify / Apple Music / etc. for 10+$", but that after the "free with blocked ads" option disappears you will (grudgingly) end up paying.
And the right move by Spotify would be to support this transition in a way that does not drive this business to their competitors. If you end up moving these people to choose between "ok, now I have to contact customer support to get my account unblocked so that I can then start entering my credit card details" versus "ok, I can just use this big 'Start Free Trial' button here on Apple Music", I don't think that is a very difficult choice.
Also, while Pi-Hole might be quite niche, the point I was trying to make was more that many people use adblockers (about 20% in Europe, far bigger than a rounding error), but many of those probably don't do so specifically for Spotify, this is just a side-effect of running Spotify in the same browser. So they might be amenable to a warning that they should disable their adblockers on Spotify, while just terminating their accounts will just drive these users to competitors.
IME, cheap people are cheap. Nagging them doesn't change their minds.
I have a Spotify subscription because Amazon Music didn't used to exist and now I am used to Spotify, but if I'm paying for Amazon Prime anyway then why not make the switch?
Where do you buy coffee that one coffee costs $10?! (or even $5?) I still don't think it's a lot of money, but not quite so trivial.
$10 is obviously nuts, but I find this one surprising as I've seen it come up a couple times. I'm on Vancouver island in BC and I'd be hard pressed to find a non-drip coffee that's not from a fast food place and isn't almost $5 after taxes.
A coffee is cheap, most of the times it is less than a dollar, sometimes as low as 10 cents if you brew it yourself from cheap ground beans.
But you probably paid $5-$10 for a coffee on a few occasions too. Though TBH, you may have done it just to rent a seat at Starbucks.
So 1-2 coffees is probably something you correctly value at about $1. By associating it with coffee, they make you think their $10/month service costs you just $1, using the super expensive case as an excuse.
Any kind of specialty drinks, which most people I would believe get at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, the local coffee shop, end up being $5-8, not even in a major city or metropolitan area.
Any size coffee is $1 at McDonald's 24/7. The quality is improving, too, so it's something to remember when you're traveling in unfamiliar territory.
>In 1994, a spokesman for the National Coffee Association said that the temperature of McDonald's coffee conformed to industry standards. An "admittedly unscientific" survey by the LA Times that year found that coffee was served between 157 and 182 °F (69 and 83 °C), and that two coffee outlets tested, one Burger King and one Starbucks, served hotter coffee than McDonald's.
>Since Liebeck, McDonald's has not reduced the service temperature of its coffee. McDonald's policy today[when?] is to serve coffee at 176–194 °F (80–90 °C), relying on more sternly worded warnings on cups made of rigid foam to avoid future liability, though it continues to face lawsuits over hot coffee. The Specialty Coffee Association of America supports improved packaging methods rather than lowering the temperature at which coffee is served. The association has successfully aided the defense of subsequent coffee burn cases. Similarly, as of 2004, Starbucks sells coffee at 175–185 °F (79–85 °C), and the executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America reported that the standard serving temperature is 160–185 °F (71–85 °C).
The temperature of the coffee in that case was not the real issue. The real issue was the flimsy cup design that was prone to collapsing in on itself (as well as a plaintiff who was easy to sympathize with and a defendant who was impossible to sympathize with.)
Its actually a family-owned chocolate shop (Winan's) offering Yurgacheffe, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan, Guatamalan and many blends. So a pretty good deal!
As a not student, I pay £10 p/m. As I've had coffees that cost me £5 in the past, that is two coffees.
When I lived in Seattle... the numbers on the signs were still the same. $4-6 for morning coffees.
On the other hand it’s nice to visit a place where restaurant food costs more than in Finland.
EDIT: A Finnish comparison might be ”It’s just a pint or two per month”. So not that expensive.
I’m not saying SF isn’t expensive. It’s not difficult to find cocktails in the $15-25 range, for instance.
I've definitely seen $8+ lattes at some super expensive restaurants in various cities around the world
A little bit of rounding up, excessive generalization, and not backing down, and BAM!
Is it piracy if I buy cable tv and timeshift with a torrent my dvr missed?
It is clearly a ridiculous assertion that a human being needs coffee. If you never had a cup of coffee again you would not die from that lack.
> 1. Pay for the service
> 2. Suffer through the ads
> 3. Don't use the service
Those are the customer's options. What about Spotify's?
1. Offer the service as paid-only, no free with ads option.
2. Offer a paid version and a free version, but some people use ad blockers.
3. Offer a paid version and a free version, block ad blockers and expose your customers to malware.
The last is the only one that has "expose your customers to malware" in it, so maybe they should pick one of the other two. Because if all the customers chose either paying or not using, that's the same anyway, and if they didn't, they're actively harming the remainder.
The reason why every large service on the Internet is ad-supported is that it does not need to follow advertisement laws. They don't even need to follow computer crime laws. If society would start enforce such laws onto online services we would see a major shift away from ad-supported services.
Now that a service is offering subscriptions, people still don't want to pay for it, and the goalposts are shifted further.
After a price drop...
> Why can't they offer it for $5/month?
Another price drop.
> Subscriptions are expensive. Why can't they offer a free plan?
A free plan is released, with ads.
> Why can't they offer it for free with less ads?
Ad density is reduced.
> Why can't they offer it for free with no ads?
> I don't want all these songs. Why can't they have an a la carte option?
A la carte option has existed for a while, but company gives it a marketing rebranding.
> These a la carte songs are kind of pricey. Why can't they be $0.80?
> They're just bits. Bits want to be free.
> Why are you ignoring your loyal potential customers? I'm going to stop pirating your product and tell everyone I know to avoid you.
My answer was two-fold - never use Spotify, and always use an ad-blocker.
I feel like I hold an opinion no one else reading hacker news has, I believe website owners should be able to deliver ads and website visitors should be able to block them.
That being said I also think Spotify (and other sites) should be held liable if they serve malware through their ads.
I also feel like paid for articles should be clearly labeled as such and not hoping people will not notice the review/write up isn't just an ad in sheep's clothing.
I get it. A website needs to make money in order to stay in business delivering "free" content. Why does it have to be a game? Commercials/ads on television are not hidden. We accept that in order to bring broadcast television without a BBC style licensing fee, the broadcasters make money selling air time to advertisers. Sure, some product placement occurs in some of the programming, but that's up to the producers and not the broadcasters.
Why is it any different on the internet?
> Premium Gross Margin was 27.3% in Q4, up from 26.1% in Q3, and up 200 bps Y/Y. Ad-Supported Gross Margin was 22.1% in Q4, up from 18.6% in Q3, and up 350 bps Y/Y.
There's a reason for that. Most people don't care enough about ads to bother installing an adblocker. It's intrusive, disruptive ads that drive them to do that. It wouldn't have come to this if site owners had taken responsibility for the content of their advertising.
And, unfortunately, most people don't bother to change their adblocker's default settings (and raise holy hell if the default settings allow non-intrusive ads), so the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater. Bad actors ruin the funding model for everyone.
How did we ever get to the point where letting anyone slap any ads they want over your content seemed like a good idea? Imagine a newspaper or a TV channel running porn ads and saying "sorry, we don't control the content of our ads." They'd be crucified.
I have the right to selectively choose what code runs on my computer, including code designed to grab ads and display/present them.
I also have the right to selectively choose what requests and traffic to allow in and out of my network.
Spotify has the right to do the same, including to deny to send me any traffic from their service for any reasons.
I also have a right to not like it if spotify does that, and everybody else has a right to not care if I do or don't.
I am surprised that they continue to believe that they should have any revenue "[W]hen people aren't willing to pay for 1-2 coffees for a month of unlimited music streaming."
It's like realising people do not want to pay for what you are selling and then, instead of owning up to the fact you therefore have no viable business, you turn around and vengefully sell those same people out, keeping them around by reducing price to 0. There is no business regarding that service. You find a new customer (advertisers) and sell something else (ads). Then you portray the original "service" as your business.
No matter how popular this has become, it is still a sham.
Selling ads is a different service with a different customer. It is not the same business.
There are probably some Internet service companies that do manage to sustain themselves on paid subscriptions. Perhaps they are few and far between.
Pretending that a successful ad sales business is the same thing as a successful Internet-based paid subscription service is disengenous.
I've never used Spotify, but if its free, supported by ads option means serving web-based stuff, then it might want to look into getting rid of that and serving audio ads every few songs instead. Ad Blockers wouldn't be a problem in that scenario, and Podcasters have long shown that the what essentially amounts to radio ads are a perfectly valid way to monetize audio content.
Unlimited broadcasting of the same set of songs in rotation that they choose for you. That's supposed to be a huge selling point of the streaming services is to offer a larger selection than what corporate radio limits what's broadcast.
Note also that in the case of Spotify, Apple Music, etc., most people will only need to subscribe to one of those services to cover pretty much all of their music streaming needs.
With, say, newspapers and magazines they can try to make the argument that to meet their needs they would need to subscribe to a bunch of different papers and magazines and that would get prohibitively expensive very fast.
You can even try that argument somewhat with video streaming services. There are enough exclusive deals between movie producers and movie streaming services that picking one service only means you likely miss out on a lot of movies you want.
But with music that argument just does not work.
That said... Go with #3 everyone. Spotify is horrible for artists.
This is coming from someone who has followed and evangelized Spotify since the beginning, way back when Ludvig joined and it was still P2P.
It's my device. I understand Spotify's motivation to want compensation for their great service, but shouldn't I be able to run my software, on my device, on my terms? I understand this argument doesn't solve anything, and puts Spotify in a bad situation.
But...how long until someone creates a solution to scrub the audio of ads in real-time? With a beginning delay for the listening buffer, of course. This isn't trivial, but it sure is repeatable.
I wish I had something better. I don't know; this quickly feels like digital [media] in the early 2000's all over again.
> ...how long until someone creates a solution to scrub the audio of ads in real-time?
Let me tell you a little open secret. Ad-blocking in general can be circumvented right now. Even the most aggressive ad-blocking techniques can be brought to their knees, because they can be detected and the website can serve the content in such a way as to make ads impossible to block without ruining the content.
Not many publishers do it because publishers have chosen to not piss off the minority that has ad-blockers installed. But this minority has been growing and what you're seeing is them fighting back.
You ask how long will it take to block audio ads? It's irrelevant, because the publisher can deploy DRM in such a way as to make ad-blocking attempts illegal and easy to trace, since the streaming is done in real time from a central source.
And thus users can receive big fines as to stop everyone else from doing it.
That publishers don't do this yet, that's only because they preferred to play nice with ad-blockers. But threaten their bottom line long enough and they'll fight back.
And who can blame them? Here's Spotify with a pretty good subscription model and users are now up in arms for no longer being able to get their content for free without ads.
How can they detect me covering the screen, looking away, or just not listening? How can that be illegal?
It's a cat-and-mouse game, and the mice will always win. Ultimately you'll get to the "analog hole of adblocking" situation anyway (user simply takes the headphones off or closes eyes or looks away etc.)
You don't have much experience with actual cats hunting mice to make that analogy.
Mice can win by breeding, but a lot of mice die in the process while the cat is getting fat.
In turn, Spotify can prevent whomever they want from streaming their content for free.
It also very often does this if connection is bad which is super weird considering all the songs are supposed to be downloaded for offline consumption.
I still wanted to listen to music though, so I found ways.
I really don’t think that was so terrible, and neither do I think the few million people that block ads are.
If enough people think the laws are terrible, then lobby your representative to have them changed. This is how the system works. Half the reason it doesn't work is admittedly our corrupt officials taking the big media money (RIAA and MPAA subsequently), but the other half the equation is you and me. Everyone just wants things to magically change and be the way they think they are suppose to be without putting any skin in the game.
No. There are laws and breaking them may result in actions taken by a group that has claimed the right to infringe on my liberty. The action is right or wrong, independently of the law.
In this case the sole consequence is that a person has to create a new spotify account.
At the end of the day what I think is moral is a lot more relevant in daily life than what the law says (it just happens to overlap in a lot of places).
That's plain incorrect, many people manage to do things that the state considers illegal.
For the record, I pay $20 or so for Google Play Music for the family plan, despite being single. (Or at least I do until they shut it down, leaving me with no option for mostly streaming plus artists that aren't on any streaming service such as Tool or Neil Cicierega.)
You seem to take sides with business, but never forget the old adage: the customer is always right.
Seriously, I would have continued to pay them, if I could have used the same software I originally got with it.
Of course I am also the sole user who ever paid for groveshark premium, and none of the current efforts are even a tiny bit remotely close to its interface, much less its music selection.
I'm still debating on if I want to spend $10.00 a month on something I may not use often enough to justify it? For now, in the spirit of everything, and to not be blocked, I turned off my ad-blocker. I can deal with it for now.
One thing I think about that is analogous is the fact that every month I donate $5.00 to my local NPR station - but I haven't listened to it in months! But - those are tax deductible (or at least once were? I'm not sure how it works now this tax year), and I do like the station, but I can only take so much of it at a time.
Maybe if Spotify weren't a paid service, and instead were "listener supported" with tax deductible donations - I could more readily get behind it...?
Ten dollars a month isn't that much, sure - it's something I need to think about more (it would be nice if there were an easy way to track when you use Spotify and for how long; that could help me too).
Honestly, 10$/month is bordering on suspiciously cheap for what you actually get.
It's the same sort of odd psychology when it comes to paying for apps compared to paying for dinner. $2 for an app seems expensive, but $50 for a dinner for two is generally not even questioned.
10 dollars is not a trivial amount of money, and its WAY above most people's pre-spotify music budget. If you don't spend that money, you have an extra $120 bucks at the end of the year.
Your pre-spotify music budget was less than $10 per month? Pre-streaming music I was definitely buying more than one CD per month, to my recollection those were about $10-15.
Even if coffee doesn't cost $5, and it costs $2.50, that's 4 coffees.
Or even $1 coffee, that's 10 coffees.
Unlimited music streaming for a month is absolutely worth 10 coffees.
The coffee example is brought up because _most_ people that claim that $120/year is a lot for them, spend a lot more than that a year on coffee.
That's not to say $10/month is trivial. I'm sure it's not a trivial amount of money for some people. The parent isn't denying that. They're saying that they're happy that Spotify is banning people that are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They're blaming people that CAN afford 1,2,5,10 coffees a month, and still chose ads or worse, adblockers for a service they can easily pay for as the demise of the internet. Which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Depends on the person. Much of the music I want to listen to isn't on Spotify, so I'd have to supplement it anyway, and I rotate through artists slowly enough that it is about the same to buy CDs anyway.
Thus, there really are only two options here when it comes to the free tier on Spotify: "Endure our ad experience or no 'free' service for you." However, there is a 3rd option here when it comes to the free tier: Spotify fixes the currently-terrible ad experience on its service.
I'd be 100% fine with ads on Spotify if they were bespoke like the ads I see from https://carbonads.net. Their ads are relevant, tasteful, and unobtrusive. Oddly, I end up paying more attention to Carbon ads than I've ever paid to a Spotify ad.
Sadly, Spotify is only offering consumers two options without any hint that they've even considered that they themselves could do something to address the issues underlying their customers' use of ad blockers.
It is amazing value for money, and at least some of it goes to the artists.
They don't, clearly, as there are people who are running software they would prefer people don't run.
What they do have a say on is whether you get to have a Spotify account, and they can base that on whether or not you're seeing the ads their software uses for revenue.
You of course have the option to pay for the service, which results in the ads being removed from the service.
I say all this as someone who doesn't use Spotify at all.
>Why should spotify have any say on what software you use on your computer?
I agree that cheating is not on par with ad-blocking, but that's neither here nor there. If there are exceptions then the GP should clarify their position.
>Spotify has a pretty cheap paid option that removes all of that.
Five dollars a month for the rest of my life is not "cheap".
Frugal people look at the total cost of a loan, not just the monthly payment.
It's not five dollars a month for the rest of your life though. It's five dollars a month for as long as you want to listen to music on Spotify without ads...
> Frugal people look at the total cost of a loan, not just the monthly payment.
It's not a loan.
Less than 5 grand for a literal life time of music.
Ad agencies are bad actors. Not intentionally but because they have zero incentive to really police what garbage goes out across their systems. I block them on the client. I block them at the DNS level. I block them at the firewall.
I've dealt with the worst case scenario, no thanks. Previously I'd sub to spotify for a month when I was traveling and just deal with the ads that got though my standard setup when I wasn't. Now I just won't bother.
Please correct me if this is disingenuous, but I feel like you basically just said you're used to having VCs subsidize your entertainment platforms and that you've extrapolated that entitlement into a justification for never paying for any entertainment acquired over the Internet.
At the very least, it seems obvious that it's unsustainable and likely that creative artists will be the first squeezed. Also, I don't think this explanation combat's the parent's observations about spending habits at all.
It has worked for several years. So why not?
At the very least, it seems obvious that it's unsustainable and likely that creative artists will be the first squeezed.
It's unlikely this would ever happen. But mostly, I'd be fine with embedded ads if they were used responsibly. But, according to Wikipedia, Spotify was founded over 10 years ago. In 2017, it was reported that it was still not profitable despite its subscription models: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-38930699. Last year it launched an IPO.
So somehow, Spotify magically became profitable enough to launch an IPO or it lasted over 10 years from what looks like VC funding without being profitable and is still not profitable.
That leaves only one question, how does such a business survive so long without profit and did VC's really care considering how popular the platform is.
Maybe everyone in the first world, but certainly not everyone who can afford an internet connection. Smart phone internet connectivity is still pretty ubiquitous in many areas where the typical smart phone is <$100 and the average income is an order of magnitude lower than the developed world.
Lol it's $10 per month. Who pays $10 for a coffee?
Where is that price from? What if I live in a poor country and price of 2 cup of coffee is $0.40?
That said, full disclosure I'm a notorious pirate on the dread sea qbittorrent with little qualms about denying others profit; so take anything with a massive grain of salt.
Not true; I live in the US and a coffee from a fancy place is easily >$5. A starbucks frappawhatever is way more.
How about if marketers want me looking at their ads, they can stop pouring millions of dollars into research about how to spy on me through those ads against my will.
It’s my TV / my phone / my screen. Me. MINE. If someone else emits some information they make freely available, that in no way entails they have any say whatsoever about what I permit to be visible on MY screen.
If they mistakenly thought this would allow them to guarantee certain things to appear on some private citizen’s personal property, it sounds like a very foolish decision on their part. It might mean they have to shut down the free version of their content or something.
If they try to circumvent my ability to control what is shown on the screen that I own though, it will fail comically, as there will just be an arms race of new technology I can use to ensure my freedom to control what shows up on my screen, to such a degree they would bankrupt themselves trying to control what goes on my screen.. seems a stupid waste on their part, wishing to control someone’s private property like that.
Yes, and now they are freely choosing NOT to distribute the content for free, except to people without adblockers.