This is a good point. I often take for granted how quickly I can recognize advertisement from non advertisement. I attribute most of it to spending my early days on the Internet reading marketing forums and running ad campaigns myself. Nowadays marketing is very subtle. Often you find yourself reading content and don't even realize somebody paid for that content to build their brand, drive traffic, etc. Look at recipe sites for example. If you watch your ad blocker count the ads, recipe sites always have one of the highest numbers. Who would ever think that if they didn't know what to look for?
My rule of thumb is "if nobody would write this without getting paid for it, then somebody probably got paid for it."
I'm not sure the classic output mode fixes the problems. I still see some street names not showing up, and it still arbitrarily resizes my map and moves around when I do a search, which it never did in the really old versions.
> Realistically, it would be both hard to change structurally
Perhaps there is a simpler solution. Here's one idea: for accounting purposes, only count a limited number of plays per month, per user. It can be the first 100 plays, or if you want to prevent any biasing, it can be a random sample of 100 of each user's plays.
A random sampling can even be audited to prove that it was fair.
I don't think sampling's even necessary. Presumably Spotify log every play. If they pushed their logs into BigQuery or something similar, it would be trivial to calculate the revenue breakdown the way the OP describes. 'Big data' is here, and it works. With 100 million users at 1000 tracks per month, we're 'only' talking about 100 billion or so rows to process each month.
Why do we consider that the places who play 24/7 of pop music are biasing the system? If it were 1 cent per play, and Mickael Jackson was played 100 times during the day in one shop... shouldn't they get $1?
If you consider two types of users - average users (10-20 plays a day?) and power users (500-1000 plays per day), both users contribute $10 to the system. Most of the money that the average users contribute ends up sent to the authors of songs that the power users play.