One of YouTube’s key features on the advertising side are skippable adverts: its ‘TrueView’ format is based on advertisers only paying when someone chooses to watch an ad, rather than to skip it.

Could this kind of idea work for audio music-streaming? Spotify is trying. It’s testing a product called ‘Active Media’ in Australia, which will enable users to choose to hear (or see in the case of video) ads or skip them, with brands only paying for completed listens or views.

The theory: Spotify can learn someone’s preferences from the ads they skip or don’t skip, in the same way it learns about their music preferences from their listening habits. A “win-win for listeners and advertisers” according to Spotify Australia / New Zealand’s head of sales Andrea Ingham, who’s quoted in the Industry Observer.

At this stage, it’s unclear when (or whether) the Active Media feature will roll out elsewhere in the world. One potential difference to YouTube: the effort required to skip ads on an audio-streaming service when it’s being used on a smartphone – e.g. a device in someone’s pocket – may make them less skip-happy than on YouTube.

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