Spotify is the latest tech company to stop selling political ads ahead of the 2020 presidential election, citing the inability to “responsibly validate and review” this type of content.
According to recent Ad Age and Variety reports, Spotify announced last week that it would be stopping the sale of political advertisements on its streaming platform in early 2020. The decision affects the United States for the time being, but only because this has been the only country where Spotify’s political ads were sold.
The move is not a permanent one as Ad Age reports Spotify has not ruled out the possibility of revisiting political ads. The problem right now, according to Spotify, is that it doesn’t yet “have the necessary level of robustness in [its] processes, systems, and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” and that the company “will reassess this decision” as its capabilities evolve.
For now, political ads will stop appearing within Spotify’s ad-supported service and podcasts, but embedded ads in third-party podcasts will not be controlled. These will, however, be covered by Spotify’s content policy, so it doesn’t make sense to try to slip them in.
The new policy covers entities like candidates, elected and appointed officials, nonprofits and political parties, and other political organizations.
Spotify’s decision echoes that of other tech companies like Twitter or Google, the two of which have announced significant changes to their political advertising policies. The former has banned political advertising entirely, while the latter has only released an updated political ads policy that allows the practice, but limits the audience characteristics that advertisers can select.
On the other hand, and despite the pressure, Facebook has decided to continue to allow political ads on its platforms.
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