Too skint to pay for Spotify, and too spent from all those McDonald’s ads? Spotify has activated a product which lets users of the popular “free” tier to choose or dump the commercials.

Spotify today launches its Active Media in Australia, a product the streaming giant hopes will give its listeners a better experience and its advertisers a much clearer target.

According to the blurb, Active Media, is a “first of its kind” initiative for its video and audio ad experience which allows users to choose whether they want to hear, see, or skip the ads.

The fun bit: advertisers only pay for completed listens or views. Spotify will apparently learn from each interaction, which means each subsequent volley of ads is tailored to the listener.

Andrea Ingham, Head of Sales at Spotify AUNZ, calls the development a “win-win for listeners and advertisers,” which it is if you consider music fans will feel like they’re in control and advertisers get a deeper look at their habits. Everyone’s a winner, in theory.

Andrea Ingham, Head of Sales at Spotify AUNZ
Andrea Ingham, Head of Sales at Spotify AUNZ

Of course, millions of Spotify users don’t have their listening experience messed around by ads. When Spotify rolled out in Australia in May 2012, the streamer offered, like elsewhere, a free-to-use model to woo new subscribers in the hope of graduating them up to a paid subscription.

The small catch: commercials would drop in roughly every 10 minutes. It’s unclear how many Spotify users in Australia are plugged into the “free” tier, though Spotify recently announced it had 170 million monthly active users and 75 million paid subscribers, which translates to a ratio of about a tick over two to one.

Spotify’s free tier home screen will now look like this:

Play

Active Media rolls out in Australia a little over two months after Spotify rebuilt its free tier with a bunch of new features enhanced personalised playlists, improved recommendations and a “data saver” toggle switch.

Spotify counts almost 100 million users of its free product. It makes sense to look after them.