Update January 26: One day after publishing this, Spotify activated the feature for Android users. There’s still no timeline for an iOS update though. A subscription isn’t required to watch the videos.
Spotify will start showing video content from selected third-party partners this week as the company tries to broaden its appeal beyond straight music streaming in the face of strong competition from rivals.
The first video content on the platform will only be available to Android users in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden, but iOS users will have to wait until next week.
Launch partners include the BBC, ESPN, Vice Media and Maker Studios, among others.
Spotify first announced its intention to start featuring video content back in May last year, but has been working on the best way to implement it.
While details remain unclear about how exactly the videos will be presented, a company exec told the WSJ that it had seen the most resonance with videos when they are clips that are specifically tied to music in some way (like the Maker Studio clip below) or when they’re contextually relevant to the viewer – ie. they’re based on the sort of music you listen to.
However, early trials also included too many ways for viewers to get to video clips, so it’s likely that a more Spotify-curated playlist approach might be how it’s implemented.
It’s just one more string to Spotify’s bow, that has seen the company recently introduce a DJ mode for parties and recommendations for local concerts based on your listening habits, in addition to its purchase of two startups to improve its music discovery and content experiences.
We’ve asked Spotify for more details and will update here if the company responds.
➤ Spotify Ready to Introduce Video Product [The Wall Street Journal]