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Spotify to launch new video product this week

Mon 25 Jan 2016

Spotify mobile app

After first announcing the introduction of a video streaming service in May last year, Spotify is finally launching the feature this week.

One of the world’s leading music streaming platforms, the Swedish company has taken its time tinkering with the new product and beta testing it on groups for months, readying it for its widespread rollout.

Many argued that a visual music element to the platform would be a logical next step for the firm, as it looks to conquer the world’s digital music market. However, not all of the video content will be music-related – keeping the product’s potential wide open to different verticals. Spotify has already confirmed partnerships with the BBC, Vice Media, Maker Studios, ESPN, and Comedy Central, among other popular brands.

According to recent reports, a podcast feature will also début this week alongside the video library.

Videos will be recommended to users in a similar fashion to the current music format. Short clips that are linked to what the person is listening to, or has previously watched, will be suggested. Playlists including ‘News of the Week’ and ‘Laughs at Lunch’ will be updated with bundled video content.

Initially, the video service will only be available in the mobile version of the Spotify app for consumers in the U.S., the UK, Germany and Sweden. It will roll out on Android first, before arriving on iOS a week later. It is also expected to be an ad-free feature at launch, but it is doubtful that it will remain like this for long.

Following the launch of YouTube’s dedicated music platform last November, Spotify has raced to release its video feature. Both streaming giants now offer a wide-range of media content and formats, and are able to market these to huge, loyal audiences.

Spotify counts a user base of over 75 million, 20 million of which are paying subscribers, yet it still has concerns over whether it will be able to convince its fans to watch rather than listen. “Obviously our primary user is a music fan, and they are not necessarily leaning in and looking into the app,” said Spotify’s vice president of product, Shiva Rajaraman. “So there are no particular recipes for how to get this right.”


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