Spotify’s relationship with white noise podcasters has been contentious, and now the company is taking further action against them. As of October 1, white noise podcasters will no longer be eligible for Spotify’s Ambassador Ads program.
This program paid podcasters to promote Spotify’s products in their shows, with the aim of increasing the platform’s podcast offerings. However, according to Bloomberg, these ads were not effective on white noise podcasts, as their listeners are typically more passive and use the shows for background noise.
The White Noise Podcast Genre: A Unique Offering
White noise podcasts, often characterized by soothing sounds like rain, waves, or ambient sounds, serve as a relaxation and sleep aid for many listeners. These podcasts provide a valuable service by helping people unwind, manage stress, and improve their sleep quality.
Previously, white noise podcasters were earning significant amounts of money from Spotify’s ad placements, with some making up to $18,000 per month. However, this move by Spotify is cutting off a major source of revenue for these podcasters.
Spotify’s Decision: Exclusion of White Noise Podcasts
Reports indicate that Spotify has decided to exclude white noise podcasts from its ad program. This decision has raised questions and concerns within the podcasting community. Some key points to consider include:
- Monetization Challenges: White noise podcast creators, like creators in other genres, rely on monetization to sustain their content. Spotify’s decision potentially limits their ability to generate income from their work.
- Representation Matters: Advocates for inclusivity argue that all podcast genres should be given an equal opportunity to participate in ad programs. Excluding a particular genre may perpetuate a lack of diversity in the industry.
- Listener Demand: White noise podcasts have a dedicated and growing audience who rely on them for various purposes. Spotify’s decision may affect these listeners’ access to the content they depend on.
On the positive side, this change may benefit listeners who simply want to enjoy white noise without interruptions from promotional content. White noise podcasters can still earn money through listener support and automated ads, but the removal of Ambassador Ads is a significant loss.
Furthermore, Spotify has raised the eligibility threshold for Ambassador Ads, requiring podcasts to have at least 1,000 unique listeners over 60 days to participate. Additionally, the company plans to involve more podcasters in its automated ads program, with a revenue split agreement instead of a flat rate payment based on impressions.