Sep 5, 2023 2 min read

Spotify bans white noise podcasters from Ambassador Ads programme

Spotify will stop the makers of white noise podcasts from participating in a programme where podcasters can earn money by promoting the streaming service’s own products

Spotify bans white noise podcasters from Ambassador Ads programme

Spotify is cutting off a specific advertising revenue stream from the makers of white noise podcasts, because when you stick on a podcast that just consists of white noise, you're probably not paying much attention to any promotional messaging.

It's Spotify's Ambassador Ads programme - where podcasters get paid to promote Spotify's own products - that the makers of white noise podcasts will no longer be able to participate in, oblivious of how many listeners and streams they might boast.

There have been rumours for a few weeks now that Spotify was looking to change its policies in relation to the white noise podcasts, although it wasn't entirely clear what that meant.

But, clearly, paying for promo messages that appear during podcasts where most listeners will have the audio on very much in the background is not the best use of Spotify's own marketing budgets, especially when its podcasting business is looking to cut costs.

According to Bloomberg, white noise podcasters will no longer be eligible to participate in the Ambassador Ads programme from next month.

The prevalence and popularity of functional audio on Spotify more generally has become a bigger talking point this year, of course.

Where audio files containing white noise, the sound of rainfall or bird song, or whatever, is delivered to the streaming services via the music industry's distributors, it is then counted as music for royalty purposes. This means that some of the revenue pool shared with the music industry is allocated to the makers of that audio.

That is pissing off the music industry and especially the majors, resulting in calls for a change to the way streaming services allocate money each month, segmenting out functional audio so it gets a smaller share of the cash.

Spotify to Limit ‘White-Noise’ Podcasters’ Money-Making Options
Spotify Technology SA is cracking down on white-noise podcasters, reducing the advertising support for programmers that provide little more than soothing sounds like rain or chirping birds.
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