Spotify will halt selling political ads in 2020
Spotify becomes the latest tech giant to curb political ads.
By Clare Eugene | Feb 11, 2020 | Print-friendly

Music-streaming service Spotify is following Twitter and Google and halting political advertising, starting in the new year. Spotify announced the change Friday in a statement in which it said that its platform does not have the capability to fact-check political ads and screen out misinformation.

"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," the company said.

The halt will be in effect in the U.S. market only, according to the company, which said that such ads will be prohibited on both the site's ad-supported tier and its exclusive podcasts. The U.S. market is the only one in which the platform has sold political ads. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has run ads for his presidential campaign on Spotify, and the Republican National Committee has used the site to advertise for Republican candidates.

Spotify is not the first tech company to actively rein in political advertising on its platform. Twitter announced an indefinite ban in October on any paid content that refers to political candidates, parties, legislation, or ballot initiatives. Twitter's announcement came in response to a statement by Facebook earlier this year that it will not fact-check statements in political ads on its platform.

Google will also implement new restrictions on political ads. Its policy will go into effect worldwide on January 6th and will limit advertisers from targeting people based on their party affiliations or voting records, although it will still allow geo-targeted political ads and ads targeting demographics such as age or gender.