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Spotify original videos will challenge Apple, YouTube

by Jacob Kleinman | May 9, 2016May 9, 2016 11:00 am PST


Spotify is still a world leader when it comes to music streaming despite some stiff competition. Now the Swedish company is expanding into original video in an effort to beat back its rivals.

Spotify is set to announce a slate of exclusive shows with a focus on music. Hip-hop legend Russel Simmons is producing Rush Hour, which asks two artists to collaborate on a new piece and perform it live. Oscar-winner Tim Robbins is involved in a mockumentary dance music competition. There’s also a documentary series called Landmarks that highlights important events in music history.

“Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us,” Tom Calderone, Spotify’s content partnerships chief, told Bloomberg. “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.”

These Spotify exclusives will be available for anyone who uses the service, regardless of whether they pay or listen for free. The company plans to launch in the U.S., U.K., Sweden and Germany to start.

Spotify faces some tough competition when it comes to original video. YouTube already offers exclusive content through its subscription-based Red service and Apple may have similar plans. Spotify already boasts 75 million listeners, however, which should give these new shows a pretty big audience right off the bat.

Bloomberg Jon Åslund (Flickr)

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...