Spotify video to begin rollout this week

Spotify logo new color canvasLast spring, Spotify turned heads with the announcement of plans to turn its streaming audio platform into a more comprehensive entertainment hub with podcasts and video content. Over the following months, there has been curiosity and increasing impatience about when those changes would hit the service. This is the week.

At least, this is the week for the video part of the equation. Spotify told The Wall Street Journal that it will begin rolling out the video product to the Android mobile app this week, with plans to hit iOS in select markets by the end of next week. The U.S., UK, Germany, and Sweden are the first countries to get the new content.

Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s vice president of product, told WSJ that the company has been testing the new features in a small percentage of its users over the past months. “Obviously our primary user is a music fan, and they are not necessarily leaning in and looking into the app,” he said. “So there are no particular recipes for how to get this right.”

Once the RAIN News staff has received access to the video content, we’ll be reviewing the changes to Spotify’s product. So far, though, the notable details are that video is only coming to mobile and it will be available to both the paid subscriber and freemium tiers. Those two decisions shed some light on how Spotify is viewing this addition to its core offerings. It’s a definite investment in getting its mobile audience more engaged with the app rather than just letting it play in the background. Plus video is probably not going to be a big factor in monetization since it won’t be gated; the videos also won’t have ads at this stage. “We are doing fine on monetization,” Rajaraman said. “This is primarily a demand play.”

Anna Washenko