Spotify is launching video content on its Android app this week, says The Wall Street Journal, with the update reportedly coming to iOS users by the end of next week. Spotify announced it would be expanding into video in May last year, but the service has been a long time coming. The company has been beta testing the mobile-only content in its four launch markets (the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden), with Spotify's vice president of product, Shiva Rajaraman, telling the WSJ that the company has now reached "the end of a journey of testing."
Video content will be sorted into categories like "Laughs for Lunch"
It's not clear exactly what content will be available at launch, but last year, Spotify announced a number of partners including the BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, MTV, and Vice News. The WSJ says that the video service currently consists of mostly short clips, and mentions shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Maker Studios' popular web series Epic Rap Battles. Rajaraman says that Spotify wants its content partners to curate their offerings for the music service, and that the app will present video content sorted into accessible categories like "News of the Week" and "Laughs for Lunch."
Screenshots of Spotify's video content on Android (left) and iOS (right). (Image credit: Spotify)
One of hurdles the company faces is getting its global user base (75 million people are signed up worldwide, with 20 million of these paying subscribers) to get used to watching video on the app. "Obviously our primary user is a music fan, and they are not necessarily leaning in and looking into the app," Rajaraman told the WSJ. "So there are no particular recipes for how to get this right."
And although Spotify is paying partners to license their content, its video won't launch with advertising. Rajaraman says that the video content is about "giving music fans what they want," and that the company — despite not being profitable — isn't worried about making money off the service right now. "We are doing fine on monetization," says Rajaraman. "This is primarily a demand play."