Ads are a part of life on the internet. If you listen to podcasts, you’ve almost certainly heard the podcast host tell you about some product where you had to remember a long URL. Those days are gone in Spotify, as podcast creators can now place clickable ads to go along with the audio ad.
Here’s how Spotify describes its new interactive ad in a blog post:
You’re often forced to remember a promo code or URL, or make a mental note to look up the offer when you return to your phone or laptop. This process is far from seamless. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new ad experience launching across podcasts called call-to-action (CTA) cards.
Essentially, when a podcast presenter is telling you about a product through an ad, they can create a card with a clickable link to go along with the ad. If you want to support the show you’re listening to, you can click the ad and redeem the offer. This prevents you from remembering complicated URLs or promo codes, as the offer is embedded in the link.
That sounds fine, as you’re listening to an ad anyway, so seeing a visual card representing it doesn’t sound terrible. However, there’s another part of this that might upset some users. “CTA cards will appear in the app as soon as a podcast ad begins playing and will resurface later on while you’re exploring the Spotify app—making it easier to check out the brand, product, or service you heard about while listening,” says Spotify.
Showing ads outside of the actual podcast might upset people, as now the ad they were forced to sit through during their podcast is following them. Spotify didn’t say whether this only applied to free users, either. Spotify Premium users seeing ads outside of the podcast itself is sure to upset many paying users.
We’ll have to wait and see precisely how Spotify implements this going forward. The feature is scheduled to roll out today to “select Spotify Original & Exclusive podcasts in the US.” Once it’s more widely available, we’ll be able to better gauge if this is a positive move for listeners since it makes it easier for them to support the shows they like or an intrusive way to implement more ads into Spotify.