Spotify is the latest tech company to decide on stopping political ads. The music streaming giant said that it will suspend political advertisements on its platform from early 2020. The suspension of political advertisements will be applicable not only on its ad-supported tier but also on its original and exclusive podcasts.
Spotify unlike other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter, so long had refrained from giving its views on political advertising, which has been a hot topic of debate in the United States over the past few months. Twitter and Facebook have been facing the heat of US lawmakers for the way they run political advertisements.
Spotify makes it clear
Spotify's decision to "pause" political advertisements from early 2020 is not essentially in a bid to limit advertisers from targeting people based on their voting record. Instead, the company said that its decision to stop political ads is because it doesn't have the necessary resources to properly vet such ads. The move comes at a time when the United States gears up for presidential election in November 2020.
"At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content," the company said in a media statement. "We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities." Spotify had earlier run ads by American politicians like Bernie Sanders. However, the music streaming giant doesn't offer ad running service outside the United States.
Spotify joins other tech companies
Spotify, understandably, doesn't want to invite trouble like many other tech companies, who have been grappling with how to handle political advertising ahead of the much-in-focus 2020 US presidential election. The company presently boasts 141 million users who subscribe its ad-supported platform.
Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook have drawn the ire of lawmakers for the way they handled political ads ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. Given this tense scenario in the run up to the 2020 US presidential election many tech companies are re-strategizing their ad policies.
Google too will start restricting its political advertisements from January 6, 2020. However, it will continue to run its geo-targeted political ads. In November, Twitter put a ban on political advertisements, which will restrict paid content referring to political parties, candidates, legislation and even ballot measures. Twitter's decision to ban political ads follows Facebook's announced that it will not fast-check statements in political ads.