There are always drawbacks to using free services in church. You get what you pay for. And, generally speaking, ad supported software is not recommended for use in a live environment. One of the things about using the free version of Spotify is that is that the audio ads play randomly and cannot be muted. I bet you already see where this is going.
During a Sunday morning service, the easiest (and cheapest) option for me for a certain song was to just play it on Spotify. I chose a long song that would play during a monologue and figured there was more song than content so I could easily stop the song in time. Unfortunately, the song was shorter than I had thought and during my lesson, over the loud speakers, could be heard, “TROJAN MAN.” Now, fortunately, I was quick on my feet and able to quickly stop the ad from playing before it got into the real nasty part. Only me and my leaders actually caught what had happened. I was so thankful the kids not only didn’t pick up on it, but didn’t walk out of kids’ church repeating that particular phrase. It could have been any ad, a car commercial, or one for an upcoming movie, or even for a new music album coming out, but no, it had to be a condom commercial. Seriously?!?!
Needless to say, the $1.50 or so I would have spent on the same or similar song on iTunes definitely was worth it. Or, I likely could have just as easily found a free instrumental that could have replaced it with a little time investment. The point is, consider the costs of using free stuff. I love free stuff. I use a ton of free resources. However, sometimes the value just isn’t there.
I continue to use the free version of Spotify for personal use and also use it to share worship playlists with the folks on my church and youth worship team. I have, however, completely sworn off using it in a live environment until such time it makes sense to purchase the ad-free version.