Streaming music service Spotify will add video content to its app this week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The new feature will first hit Android devices before rolling out to the iPhone by the end of next week. It will be launching in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Sweden at first.
Spotify announced its plans to move into video in May of last year. Then, the company said that it had partnered with ESPN, ABC, NBCUniversal, Comedy Central, Vice Media and Maker Studios, among other video content providers.
Spotify has been beta testing short video snippets from those media partners. But some of those partners, like Tastemade, will be creating original series just for Spotify, The Journal reports.
The company has experimented with packaging video clips into themed bundles like “News of the Week” or “Laughs at Lunch” to make it easier to Spotify users to find videos they might like, Spotify’s Vice President of Product Shiva Rajaraman told The Journal. The company also said that it’s seen success with showing videos related to the type of music a Spotify listener enjoys.
One of the biggest challenges facing Spotify’s video efforts will be getting users to actually watch video clips within its app. Since Spotify is primarily used for audio, many listeners stream music while using other apps or with their phone in their pocket. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told The Journal last May that some of the new video content will be designed so that it’s just as enjoyable to listen to as it is to watch.
It’s also possible that Spotify could position itself as a stronger podcast platform now that it has partnerships with a host of media providers.
There’s one benefit to streaming video through Spotify over rival services like YouTube: no ads, at least for now. The Journal is reporting that the new videos are launching without any advertising, as the goal is to lure in more users and convince existing users to spend more time within the app. That could change, however. Ek previously told The Journal that video ads would eventually be an important revenue source.
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