Spotify adds original video programming

spotify shows featured videos cropped 300wSpotify is planning to create 12 original video series. A few months after adding video clips to its mobile service, Spotify is introducing a roster of original shows, with episodes running just 15 minutes or less. This new content will initially roll out to the streaming service’s free and paid users in the U.S., the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

“Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us,” said Tom Calderone, chief of content partnerships. “We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they can come here for something other than playlists.”

So far, the new content is still music-centered. It’s being sourced from an impressive pedigree, with involvement from producer legend Russell Simmons’ new All Def Digital, former MTV and VH1 exec Van Toffler, and Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins. Calderone’s road map for this video push includes a second wave of comedy and animation shows intended to appeal to Spotify’s teen and young adult audience.

A growing number of music companies are expanding their product to include more than audio. Apple Music, Tidal, and of course YouTube are all involved with video in some way. With Spotify jumping on the original show bandwagon as well, it seems that this may be a core feature that any streaming service will need to be competitive.

Anna Washenko


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