Spotify is moving beyond music and into video in a move that could position the app to rival both YouTube and iTunes.
At today’s event, Spotify announced that it will partner with dozens of networks and news organizations, including ABC, NBC, ESPN, MTV, and Vice, to bring users news, videos and podcasts, along with Spotify’s signature collection of music for a listening experience that will be a mix of iTunes and YouTube. For example, users can watch clips of Comedy Central’s Broad City followed by a TED talk before returning to their morning commute playlists.
Daniel Ek, chief executive (CEO) of Spotify, explained the move from music app to video platform as the natural evolution of Spotify’s business model. “Spotify has always been a music company at heart, but a tech company by design,” Ek said at the event.
Spotify is also moving toward more sophisticated brand offerings. Earlier this week, Spotify launched a partnership with Starbucks that will offer specialized playlists and rewards to Starbucks employees, loyalty program members, and Spotify members. Now, Spotify has launched a partnership with Nike+ that will employ wearable technology to sync exclusive music to users’ running pace.
Ek hinted that these partnerships were just the first of many. Ek also said that Spotify will also become a content producer. The brand has plans to produce orginal video content from celebrities like Amy Poehler, who is creating a series of videos featuring a “dance move of the day.”
“This is just the start,” Ek said. “When you look across media, you see new content everywhere. But our content will compliment and extend the core of our users experience.”
Spotify’s news comes on the heels of a similar plan from Facebook to partner with publishers to release news articles directly on its app.
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