The latter months of 2019 saw a debate around political advertising on social media, particularly in the US, with the various social platforms increasingly jumpy about the 2020 presidential election campaign. Now Spotify has also been sucked in to that debate: it has announced a ‘pause’ on selling political ads – a decision that appears to be US-focused, since that’s the only country where Spotify was selling such ads. “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,” said its spokesperson, adding that Spotify will “reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities”. AdAge, which was first to report the news, suggested that the decision isn’t a financial hit for Spotify at this point: “It’s not a significant revenue generator for the company, especially when compared to Spotify’s largest money makers, such as entertainment ads for movies or shows”. While Spotify’s own podcasts will also not carry political ads, those uploaded to Spotify by external producers and independent podcasters will be able to carry them, subject to Spotify’s existing content policies.

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