Spotify is now explicitly banning ad blockers, as stated in an updated Terms of Service policy sent out today. The new rules specifically state that “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service” can result in immediate termination or suspension of your account.
The service already takes significant measures to limit ad blockers. In a DigiDay report from last August, a Spotify spokesperson revealed that the company has “multiple detection measures in place monitoring consumption on the service to detect, investigate and deal with [artificial manipulation of streaming activity].”
After it was reported last March that 2 million users (about 2 percent of free Spotify users) were dodging ads with modded apps and accounts, Spotify began cracking down by disabling accounts when the company detected abnormal activity. Users were sent email warnings and given the chance to reactivate their accounts after uninstalling the ad-blocking software. In some rare cases where the problem persisted, Spotify would terminate the account.
The new Terms of Service, which go into effect on March 1st, will give Spotify the authority to terminate accounts immediately, without warning.
The new guidelines will kick off an interesting period of growth for Spotify, as the service commits to building out a podcast network with recent acquisitions of podcast companies Gimlet Media and Anchor. Spotify’s last earnings report showed that the company turned a profit for the first time in its 13-year history.