The world’s largest music streaming service has announced plans to muscle its way into the video streaming market.
Earlier today, Spotify unveiled a huge product expansion that will see the company venture far beyond just music streaming. In addition to introducing news and podcasting components, as well as new music personalization/recommendation tools, the company also announced plans to distribute video content straight from their mobile and desktop apps.
Their launch partners for the new video service include Multi-Channel Networks like Fullscreen and Maker Studios, as well as more mainstream video producers like ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV, and the BBC.
Spotify’s video & podcasting launch partners.
All of this new content, will be bundled into a re-designed browse feature that attempts to better match content with your mood and what you’re doing throughout your day.
The addition of video content represents the biggest departure from Spotify’s core mission in the company’s history, putting them in direct competition with video streaming giants like YouTube, which has been the biggest name in online video for almost a decade.
Both video and music streaming use similar technologies, infrastructure, and licensing terms, so a video service from Spotify is, in many ways, a natural progression for a company that has already seen so much success from streaming. The video ad market continues to grow year-on-year, which compliments Spotify’s ‘freemium’ business model well, while the overall video streaming market is growing faster than the wider digital music industry.
However, Spotify is still dealing with the fallout from protests of their seemingly low payouts to artists and songwriters, which famously led the the most popular artist of the past year, Taylor Swift, pulling all of her music from Spotify.
Considering new video start-ups like Vessel are adding value by promising video creators much more cash than they earn from other platforms, it will be interesting to see whether Spotify can offer enough money to hold the attention of larger video creators in the long-term.
The new features launch on Spotify’s mobile and desktop apps later today in the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden. Other countries will see the new features rolled out in the coming months.