Spotify Ads

I like Spotify. I can listen to just about any music I want, explore new music from my favorite artists (I found a new one today from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir that was just exquisite!), see recommendations from friends on Facebook, and pay precisely zero dollars for it all. If I want to listen to some exquisite Beethoven piano sonata, I can sample the same piece from twenty different artists.

But I’m writing today to complain: my righteous soul is vexed. In order to listen to beautiful, God-honoring music from the rich Western classical (and folk) traditions, I must be subjected to raunchy advertisements for “Kick-Ass 2” and a pub-crawl movie called “The End of the World.” Advance Auto Parts is a frequent advertiser, too, and though their ads are far less objectionable, they’re cast in an “ironic” mode that I find cloying and even disrespectful.

Every single Spotify ad is a jarring, rock- or rap-filled interruption to my preferred music. No one likes commercials (except once a February), and I recognize that they are paying for my music listening pleasure (I also recognize that I could pony up $10 a month to rid myself of all ads). But it’s a mark of a degenerating society that so many ads are so objectionable.

Also, until quite recently, Spotify didn’t seem to realize that literally all of the music I listen to falls outside of the pop, rock, country, and rap genres. All the recommendations they gave me until this very week were for albums that, judging by their covers and what I’ve read about the performers, belong in no Christian’s earbuds. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11).

XBox Music on my Windows 8 laptop is a bit better, probably because they haven’t sold all their ad slots yet.

Sigh.

Rant complete.

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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