You are already familiar with ads if you listen to Spotify podcasts, though you might expect things to differ when you pay for Spotify premium.
Premium Spotify subscribers are still hearing ads during their favorite podcasts.
Here’s Why Spotify Podcasts have Ads:
Spotify Premium offers ad-free music but uses Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) for podcasts. SAI allows dynamic ad insertion during a podcast. So even if your favorite show has no host-read ad, you might still hear ads. For now, this technology applies only to Spotify originals and exclusives.
Can You Remove Ads on Spotify Podcasts?
Typically, you would use a free ad-supported platform version and then upgrade to remove ads.
With Spotify premium podcasts, things are not so simple. That’s because your podcast’s host may have activated Streaming Ad Insertion.
You can avoid these ads through a few techniques.
The most popular way is to fast forward through any part of your podcast, including advertisements, by using the 15 seconds skip button.
By repeatedly pressing it, you will eventually skip the ad content.
“Skip Ads” Button:
Spotify also has a ‘skip-ads’ button.
It might be frustrating since the platform’s ‘pause, rewind, and fast forward functions aren’t the best.
It’s also inconvenient if you listen to your podcast while doing something else, like driving or jogging.
Download & Listen Offline:
Download various podcasts and listen to them offline.
They cannot display ads in offline mode so that you can enjoy your podcast with no interruptions.
Do All Spotify Podcasts have Ads?
All Spotify users get on-demand podcast listening that may include ads or sponsorships.
However, SAI is only available for Spotify originals and exclusives (for now).
That means it should be possible to find a podcast whose host has not opted for SAI or whose show doesn’t qualify for SAI because it isn’t a Spotify original. You can even find a podcast whose host isn’t using host-read ads.
There is no upfront way to tell if a podcast has zero ads. You would have to be part of a paid subscription with that podcast host.
Do Spotify Or the Podcasters Control the Ads?
Spotify gives podcast hosts a choice to have a dynamic ad slot in their podcast.
The podcast hosts who opt-in have no control over the kinds of ads you hear. With Streaming Ad Insertion, Spotify controls things from that end.
Spotify inserts ads into qualifying shows in real-time, using data about you, like your location, type of device, and age.
Here’s an example: if you and your mom were listening to the same Spotify-exclusive podcast, you might receive different ads.
Do The Ads Earn Money for the Podcasters Or Spotify?
SAI allows creators to monetize their content better and make money.
The amount of money a show makes is calculated with CPM. CPM stands for cost per mille or cost per 1,000 listeners.
The 2022 industry average rates for podcast advertising are:
- $15 for a 10-second ad CPM
- $18 for a 30-second ad CPM
- $25 for a 60-second ad CPM
If a podcast has 100,000 downloads for each episode and an advertiser pays $30 CPM for an ad, the show makes:
30 x 100 = $3,000 per episode.
One source quotes Spotify CPM rates anywhere from $5 and above, depending on the targeting type and ad formats. Other sources suggest Spotify pays out a net of $15 CPM.
Either way, Spotify also benefits from advertising revenue. Their advertising revenues hit a record 62.15 percent increase from 2020 to 2021. Spotify’s CEO confirmed this was mainly due to podcasts.
Does Spotify Update Ads in Podcasts?
A few factors affect the ads you might hear on Spotify podcasts.
Advertisements embedded in a podcast will be heard repeatedly by anyone listening to that episode.
Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI)
The technology behind SAI allows dynamic ad placement during a podcast. The podcast content is paused, the ad is played, and the show is resumed.
But you might still hear loud ads repeatedly if the SAI technology continues to detect the same listener demographics. Because of specific targeting, advertisers can run ads across podcast episodes that deal with topics related to their business.
So if you keep listening to the same kinds of podcast topics, you may keep hearing the same ads. If your demographics, listening habits, and even your device change, then the ads you are served will also change.
However, if a very specifically targeted ad isn’t available, the highest bidders may have their ad shown.
Thankfully, since the launch of Spotify Audience Network in April 2021, over 4X more advertisers are participating. Along with the addition of third-party podcast publishers, that has more than tripled Spotify’s total podcast ad inventory.
Therefore, you stand a better chance of hearing less annoying ad repetitions on Spotify podcasts!
What are the Best Ad-Free Podcast Apps?
If you’re not interested in Spotify or are not satisfied with it as a podcast app, here are some of the best ad-free options. Some are free, while others require a payment to unlock the ad-free experience.
Available on iOS and Android, Castbox is a free podcast app with over a million podcasts scrubbed from other sources like iTunes. The free version gives full features and has no ads.
tabs for podcast recommendations, leaving comments, keeping track of your favorites, and exploring various genres.
A search feature allows you to search for episodes and podcast networks and add the RSS feed.
A convenient download icon that gives quick access to your downloads.
This podcast app is available for Android only and has a substantial library of podcasts.
To enjoy its ad-free benefit, you will need to pay $2.99 upfront, but there are no further in-app purchases.
It comes with:
- playlist support
- variable speed playback
- customization of themes
- automation of settings
Podbean is both a podcast app and a podcast hosting company. It is available for both iOS and Android. As a podcast app, you get access to over 50 million podcast episodes.
For their ad-free experience, you will need to pay $9.99 for the Podbean VIP Subscription.
- Top features include:
- homepage customization
- prioritized support
- unlimited playlists.
ListenApp is free on iOS only and is another ad-free podcast app.
Their most notable features include:
Access listening history.
Receive notifications about new episodes.
Save your data and manage what to download or stream.
Easily create and manage a queue.
Get recommendations based on your interests and what is trending.
Adjust playback speeds.
Overcast is free on iOS and fills its directory from the Apple Podcasts. Its ads support other podcasts on the site as well!
But just in case you want pure ad-free listening, you can have them removed by paying $10 every year.
Best features include:
- trim silence feature.
- The Smart Speed feature allows you to increase audio speed without sounding weird.
- Voice Boost feature that normalizes the volume and makes shows easier to listen to in a noisy environment
- Playlist filtering and reordering
The only ad-free Premium service from Spotify is their music streaming service.
Ad-free podcast streaming is only possible if a podcast host with an exclusive Spotify podcast opts out of SAI. If you don’t want to take that chance, your best option is an ad-free podcast app.