Spotify has been known since its launch in 2006 as a music streaming service, but with a move into video content, the streaming giant looks to be broadening its entertainment offerings.
In a new partnership with Disney, ABCNews, NBC, Viacom, TED, and Vice, and others, Spotify has added video content to its library. Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO, originally made the announcement back on May 20th, but the update went live on iOS and Android in recent weeks.
According to Ek, the purpose behind these new partnerships is to allow users to stay within the Spotify app and not be forced to venture outside to Facebook, Twitter, or other media services.
Though new video content will mainly consist of short clips, it has been rumored that there are music-themed TV-style shows being made exclusively for Spotify. With even more content than before, Spotify has made navigation easier by offering “video packages” to watch bundled content such as “News of the Week” or “Laughs at Lunch.”
With the addition of new content, there is much speculation that Spotify is straying away from its core user base of devoted music fans. The addition of more content into the Spotify library means one very important thing: more pay-outs to rights holders.
The success of the new video service relies on its ability to draw new users to Spotify. If video doesn’t draw new subscribers and subscription pricing remains at $9.99, there will be more rights holder pay-outs, but less money in the pot — which is not a recipe for sustained success.
Spotify believes video content to be essential to growing its user base and keeping others more engaged on the app. While Spotify plans to launch the app without ads, Ek stated video ads are expected to be “an important source of revenue” in the future.
The video streaming space is already crowded by Youtube, Facebook, Vevo, and Snapchat. Pulling users from these platforms seems brash, however the ability to keep users inside the Spotify app through a more varied content offering, if successful, is much more efficient from a user perspective.
However, the combination of video and music could be overwhelming. If the new video offerings hinder navigation or quality user experience in the app, Spotify users could turn to Apple Music or another competitor.
Christina Warren, senior tech correspondent on Mashable told CBS News, “…if [Spotify] can curate videos the same way they curate music … maybe that would be useful for people in the same way they have playlists for running or doing anything else.” If Spotify can keep people on its app and away from Facebook and Youtube for video content there is much promise in the realm of video.
By Matthew Jong