Spotify announced Thursday that it’s updating its terms of service, and that includes seriously cracking down on user attempts to bypass ads, according to the Verge. If you try to block ads with a free account anyway, you may risk losing it.
In the user guidelines section of its updated TOS, Spotify notes that “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements” is strictly forbidden. Spotify also notes that if a user attempts to get around the rule, it may result in suspension or termination.
Spotify notified its customers in an email on Thursday that the new changes will go into effect March 1. Users’ acceptance of the new terms “will be deemed to have been granted if you continue to use the Spotify service after the effective date,” the company said.
It’s not clear under what circumstances the company will outright give the boot users for blocking ads, or whether it plans to issue warnings ahead of taking such an extreme measure. We’ve reached out to Spotify for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
Reuters reported in March, ahead of the company going public, that roughly 2 million users on its platform were blocking ads, effectively pirating one of the most compelling reasons to cough up the $9.99 a month for a Premium account. As the Verge noted, Spotify around the same time started coming down on third-party apps that allowed users to access Premium features with their free accounts.
During its fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday, the company reported its paid subscriber base had grown to 96 million from 71 during the same quarter the previous year. Spotify also announced this week that it was making significant headway on its podcasting ambitions by acquiring Anchor and Gimlet Media, the latter of which includes podcasts such as Reply All and Crimetown.
“There are endless ways to tell stories that serve to entertain, to educate, to challenge, to inspire, or to bring us together and break down cultural barriers,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said of the acquisitions in a blog post this week. “The format is really evolving and while podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential for the space and for Spotify in particular.”