Music streaming service Spotify is running a trial that could see "Sponsored Songs" appear in playlists. Unfortunately for free users, the opt-out option for Spotify's potential rollout of Sponsored Songs will only be available for premium subscribers.
Sponsored content advertisements - typically large banner adverts promoting artists, albums and songs - are quite common on Spotify already, but the new method closely integrates each sponsored track into followed playlists, sitting just above the normal track list.
Also, unlike previous sponsored content, the songs will be tailored to the listener based on their music preferences and can be streamed and added immediately to their personal library without clicking through an advert.
The new look was spotted by TechCrunch who reached out to Spotify for clarification. A spokesperson said the Sponsored Songs product test is "for labels to promote singles on the free tier" and could roll out officially at a later date.
Premium tier subscribers could also potentially see Sponsored Songs too, but should the changes go live there will be an opt-out option for a fully ad-free experience. While Spotify did not confirm one way or the other, it would appear that this same option may not exist for users who use the service for free when/if it becomes official.
Currently the changes, which impact both the Spotify mobile and desktop apps, are only visible to free users. For now, those users can revert the changes by going to Settings > Display Options on or Settings > Sponsored Content on iPhone or Android devices.
The Sponsored Songs content is quite similar to Spotify's "Discover" playlists which regularly promote new music from artists, however it is unclear whether users will be keen on the addition of possibly unrelated songs appearing nearby their carefully curated playlists.
The move comes amid Spotify's IPO push, with the streaming service looking to recoup cash on the heavy cost of music royalty licences. The Swedish company earned $3.3bn (£2.6bn) in revenue, but still lost $390m in 2016 due to operating costs, royalty payouts and other business factors. Spotify currently boasts over 140 million users - over a third of which have a Premium subscription.