Spotify is taking on Apple’s iTunes with a major new push into video, with 12 new series dedicated to pop culture.
The new original content from Swedish media streaming firm will consist of episodes up to 15 minutes long. Each episode will be available to Spotify’s paying subscribers and free users in the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden.
Like Apple Music’s foray into video, the first few programs focus music, but later series will branch out into comedy and animation to reach the platform’s younger, core audience.
One show called Rush Hour, which was created with Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, brings two hip-hop acts together to collaborate on a project they must perform in front of a live crowd. Another documentary show called Landmark highlights significant moments in music history.
Spotify global head of content partnerships Tom Calderone said: “We are developing original content that is rooted in music, pop culture, and animation that is driven by the passion and sense of humour of our audience. We are working with artists, producers, and partners who understand that the Spotify audience has a strong connection to artists and wants to go deeper into their worlds, see their performances and expressions, and hear their stories.”
Over the last eight years, Spotify has grown its user base to 75 million by focusing on streaming music.
Spotify first dipped a tentative toe into video last year with a series of clips from partner providers such as ESPN, MTV and Comedy Central but the streaming service is now looking to up its game in the face of increased competition from the likes of Apple, Vice Media and even Tidal.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Spotify that its “second act” will be all about video. It began experimenting with the medium a year ago by featuring clips from entertainment and news sources including ESPN, Vice, and Viacom.
Spotify’s latest move comes at an interesting time in the media calendar. TV and digital networks from AOL to ABC are currently in the midst of presenting their programming slates and advertising inventory to marketers during the annual showcase that’s known as the upfronts for TV companies and newfronts for digital properties.
Spotify is mounting a major push from audio to video by commissioning 12 new original series to spearhead its expansion into the sector, according to reports in Bloomberg.