Spotify Bans Political Ads Ahead of 2020 Election

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek
Andrew Burton /Getty

Music streaming giant Spotify won’t accept U.S. political advertisements ahead of the 2020 presidential election, following a similar decision made earlier this year by Twitter.

Spotify told Ad Age Friday it will stop accepting political advertising in early 2020 across its ad-supported tier, which boasts 141 million users. The company is also suspending campaign ads on its original and exclusive podcasts, which include Amy Schumer Presents and The Joe Budden Podcast.

Spotify cited a lack of resources needed to vet the content of political ads.

“At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” Spotify said in a statement to the trade publication. “We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

The pause will only affect U.S. listeners since Spotify doesn’t accept political ads in overseas markets, according to Ad Age.

The trade publication noted that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the Republican National Committee have run ads on the platform.

Spotify’s announcement follows a similar decision made by Twitter that sent shockwaves through the social media world.

Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey said in October that the social media platform would stop all political advertising worldwide.

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” said Dorsey in a tweet.

The decision represents a stark contrast to Facebook, which not only continues to accept political ads but also has declined to fact check them.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has argued that it is not up to Facebook to censor the speech of political figures and that voters should be able to make up their own minds about what politicians have to say.

Zuckerberg’s decision has enraged left-wing activists who blame Facebook for helping President Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

Spotify, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, told Ad Age that its new policy will also prohibit ads that advocate for or against political entities as well as legislative or judicial outcomes. But it won’t affect political ads that are embedded in for third-party podcasts, which aren’t exclusive to Spotify.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.