Spotify Brings Back Political Ads After Suspending Them in 2020

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In 2020, Spotify suspended all political ads from the platform surrounding that year’s election cycle amid widespread criticism of the online spread of misinformation. At the time, Spotify released a statement promising to put a better vetting process into place before bringing political ads back. The company confirmed this week that political ads are slowly returning to the digital streaming platform, Protocol reports.

“Following our pause of political ads in early 2020, we have spent the past two years strengthening and enhancing our processes, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement. “We are now beginning to sell select political advertisements in opted-in third-party podcasts via the Spotify Audience Network in the U.S.”

The company reportedly sent out an internal email claiming that it will not accept ads from issue-based groups, will only host ads from known candidates, and that the ads will not run between songs streaming on the free subscription tier.

At the start of this year, Neil Young asked for his music to be removed from Spotify in protest of Joe Rogan’s platform-exclusive podcast. He accused the streaming platform of “spreading fake information about vaccines—potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.” His music was swiftly taken off the platform, and other artists followed suit in requesting their respective catalogs’ removals from Spotify. While CEO Daniel Ek condemned Rogan’s use of racist slurs, the company still stands by Joe Rogan.

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