- The Washington Times
Saturday, December 28, 2019

Streaming giant Spotify said Friday that it will suspend sales of paid political advertisements on its platform over its inability to “responsibly validate and review” content.

“Beginning in early 2020, Spotify will pause the selling of political advertising,” the audio streaming service said in a statement, AdAge first reported.

“This will include political advertising content in our ad-supported tier and in Spotify original and exclusive podcasts,” Spotify’s statement said. “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. We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

Launched in Sweden in 2008, Spotify boasted 248 million monthly active users as of September 2019, including 113 million customers of the company’s subscription service, making it the world’s most popular platform of its kind and “the largest driver of revenue to the music business today,” according to its own accounting.

Most of Spotify’s users are among the service’s ad-supported tier, though the company currently only runs political advertisements in the U.S., AdAge reported.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, and the Republican National Committee have each previously advertised on Spotify, the outlet reported.

Spotify declined to comment on how much the company makes from political ads, the report said.

Internet companies have increasingly faced pressure to rein in political ads on their platforms over concerns including the potential for bogus or misleading content to run amuck.

Facebook has controversially decided not to fact-check political ads placed on its social networking service, while rival platform Twitter recently banning on political ads from its service.

“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said when his company banned political ads last month.

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