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In May last year, it was reported that Spotify would be expanding its streaming music service to include, among other things, video. It’s taken a while to get here, but the Swedish company has finally confirmed that it is planning to introduce video content on its Android app later this week, followed by the iOS app by the end of next week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Over the past several months, the company has been beta testing mobile-only video content on its apps in the four launch markets of the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden. Spotify’s vice-president of product, Shiva Rajaraman, told the WSJ that video streaming had now reached "the end of a journey of testing." He added: “we are going out effectively as planned. Our goal was largely to get a wide breadth of content and experiment and test.”
Spotify said last year that its video service launch partners will include the BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, MTV, and Vice News. The company hasn’t revealed too much about the videos it will be streaming, but they’re expected to be mostly short clips. It’s not clear if Spotify will eventually show full episodes too. Shows that have been mentioned include Jimmy Kimmel Live and popular web series Epic Rap Battles of History.
In addition to delivering “contextually relevant videos” based on the kinds of music you listen to, the clips will also come in bundles - similar to Spotify music playlists - such as "News of the Week" or "Laughs at Lunch."
"Today we're introducing a new Spotify experience that's more accessible, personal and usable than anything in music," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said.
Despite paying partners to license their content, Spotify said there won’t be any ads in its new video service, but there will be in the future. Right now, the company sees video as a way of attracting new users to its service and getting current members to spend more time with the app.
“This [launch] is fundamentally about giving music fans what they want,” said Mr. Rajaraman. “We are doing fine on monetization. This is primarily a demand play.”