Spotify makes foray into video and podcasts

May 21, 2015 16:29
Spotify is branching out of commercial music streaming into video content and podcasts. Photo:Internet

Spotify, the Swedish commercial music streaming platform, is pushing into video content and podcasts, weeks before Apple launches its own music streaming service.

Chief executive Daniel Ek said Spotify is in talks with content providers ranging from sport channel ESPN to youth-oriented brand Vice Media, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Spotify is adding short video clips from partners that include the BBC and NBC to a revamped music platform.

The revamped service includes new features such as intuitive music selection for runners that selects tracks based on the runner’s speed, and greater personalization based on users’ listening habits and tastes.

The personalization was made possible by analytics technology that Spotify acquired when it bought The Echo Nest, a data group, last year, Ek said.

The launch comes amid intensifying competition in music streaming.

Rival providers such as Apple and Tidal, the service relaunched by hip hop artist Jay Z, are trying to secure “windowing” deals with top music stars in which new albums and singles would be offered exclusively on their services for limited periods.

Ek said is unfazed by the prospect of new competition.

“The truth is we’ve been competing against all these companies -- Google and Apple -- for years,” he said.

“We have a very different audience to Apple. Our audience is much younger than the traditional Apple audience. The Apple audience is slightly older and set in its musical taste ... they don’t change that much.”

Spotify is also under pressure from Universal Music, the world’s largest record company, to limit the free, advertising-supported tier of its service and push more people into paid subscriptions.

Spotify had 60 million active users, of which 15 million were paying subscribers, at the end of 2014.

-- Contact us at [email protected]