Spotify expands video offerings

Spotify expands video offerings

Spotify will expand its video offering with 12 new programmes focusing on music and pop culture. 

The streaming service will offer its original video content - which will range from lasting only a few minutes to 15-minute episodes - to users in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden later this year. Notably, it will be available to free and paid subscribers, reports Bloomberg.

A second phase of comedy and animation series for the service’s younger audience will happen further down the line - for now, initial programmes include: Focus On, a “data-driven performance series” where a popular act plays a gig to a crowd chosen from their biggest fans on Spotify, with the fans and city profiled as part of the show; Rush Hour, in which two hip-hop artists (“one legend, one young buck”) create a remix or mashup of their tracks in a van during Los Angeles rush hour on the way to a stage hosted by Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital (which is also producing the show), where they perform the track live as well as other hits; animated series Drawn & Recorded, which looks at moments in music history, narrated by T-Bone Burnett; and Landmark, a documentary series telling the story of a significant moment in history (episodes already shot cover Beach Boys album Pet Sounds and the band Metallica).

Drawn & Recorded will be produced by Gunpowder & Sky, a company formed by former MTV and VH1 boss Van Toffler. He said that services like Spotify “need to be more than a library of music. What we did at MTV was create genre shows, unique performance shows and narratives behind the music -- literally Behind the Music. This is a blueprint.”

Spotify's global head of content, Tom Calderone, who also previously spent close to 17 years at Viacom before joining the streaming service in March this year, said: "We are developing original content that is rooted in music, pop culture, and animation that is driven by the passion and sense of humor 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."

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: “Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us. 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.”


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