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Spotify announced last May it would be bringing video to their streaming service at a massive press conference, and it is finally set to release on iPhone and iPad next week. There are several major sources set to provide video content through Spotify including ABC, ESPN, BBC and Comedy Central just to name a few. Content will primarily be short clips from popular shows similar to what’s available on YouTube.
Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s vice president of product, recently told the Wall Street Journal, “We are at the end of a journey of testing.” He went on to say, “our goal was largely to get a wide breadth of content and experiment and test.” The testing is finally over and it will be exciting to see what Spotify’s entrance into video will be all about.
During Spotify’s testing, it was reported the company found just serving up a bunch of video content was unhelpful without any curation. When it is released next week, videos will be curated into bundles depending on the type of content or purpose. The bundles will be similar to Spotify’s in-house curated playlists. For example, there may be a bundle of current news content and another bundle of funny videos. Since Spotify is already aware of the music you like, the video service will primarily use that information to match videos with your music interests.
Spotify has made it abundantly clear they are a music streaming service first and that will not change with the introduction of video. The company has indicated their desire to offer video is the hope that users will stay within the Spotify app to watch video rather than jumping to another service such as YouTube, Vimeo or Snapchat.
Spotify’s video streaming offering certainly has the potential to be successful given the company claims it has 75 million users. That’s not a bad head start over competitors, although at launch video content will be limited to the U.S., U.K., Germany, and the service’s home country of Sweden. Spotify’s new offering also ups the ante on Apple Music, its most fierce competitor in the streaming music space.
Video content is launching as a mobile-only offering, and the company hasn’t been clear whether video will come to the desktop and the web. At launch, the service will be ad free to all subscribers, not just Premium customers. This is obvious pitch to get people on board with Spotify, and I would bet ads are likely come to non-paying customers.
For those who are interested, Podcasts will also be added to Spotify’s catalog along with video content next week. Only time will tell how Spotify’s video service will pan out, but the company is certainly upping its offerings to users during a time where almost every major app wants to offer you everything. For example, Snapchat, which was originally only a messaging service, offers video content and even a way send money to others.
In the fight to be the most used app on your iPhone and iPad, Spotify is hoping its new content will give it a leg up. Let us know in the comments if you are excited about the new content, or if you think Spotify should’ve just stuck with music.
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