Spotify will suspend or terminate the accounts of non-paying customers who use ad-blockers to keep musical playback free of advertisements.
As of March 1, the updated terms of service outlines action against say those users guilty of “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating and distributing tools designed to block advertisements in the Spotify Service.”
Those users will now face “immediate termination or suspension of your Spotify account” if they’re found to be breaking the rules.
The new guidelines (via TechCrunch) represent a significant escalation of Spotify’s treatment of those who don’t pay for the service, while also refuse to do the bare minimum to support artists by listening to the occasional commercial in between songs.
Back in March, we brought word of unauthorised and modified versions of the official Spotify app that made it possible for freeloaders to access unlimited skips and ad-free listening; both Premium-only features. All those users needed to do was sideload one of the hacked apps and enter their legitimate username and password in order to remove some of those restrictions on free playback.
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At the time, Spotify believed that about two million users had been deploying ad blockers while using the service. It’s not clear whether those hacked apps are still active, but Spotify must believe a significant number of people are still finding ways to get around the restrictions on free playback.
Elsewhere, it’s been a good week for Spotify. It announced it had turned a profit for the first time in its 13-year history, and also signalled its intentions for the future by announcing the acquisition of a pair of podcast services, Gimlet Media and Anchor.
Is it about time Spotify went medieval on those skirting the rules? Are you a Premium subscriber sick of freeloaders getting so many of the benefits without forking over their tenner a month? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.