Spotify is adding video and podcasts, including content from Vice Media and Viacom's Comedy Central, positioning the on-demand music service to compete with Google's YouTube and IAC/Interactive's Vimeo. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Spotify is expanding its playlist in hopes of getting users to stick around longer. The on-demand music service will now offer videos and podcasts. Content will come from sources including Vice Media, The BBC, Walt Disney's ABC and Viacom's Comedy Central. Spotify also plans to create original content. Spotify's Chief Business Officer Jeff Levick: SOUNDBITE: JEFF LEVICK, CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER, SPOTIFY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We found that the usage on Spotify continues to grow. Average user spends about 150 minutes on Spotify. But we also found that, based upon different times of day or different things that people are doing, there is other content that they are looking for, so, for us, our hope is to bring those other content types into Spotify, create a more immersive richer content experience and keep people using Spotify even for more parts of the day or for longer during the day." Spotify also has a new recommendation function, similar to rival Pandora, that will let people pick channels based on lifestyle activities, like songs to sing in the shower, or 100 plus hits from the 1980's. Reuters Jen Saba: SOUNDBITE: JEN SABA, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is a big deal. I mean, I think, it's a compelling offering that they are trying to do, and it will be interesting to see if they get more people to, you know, subscribe to the service, because that is their main way of making money. Interestingly enough, they did not talk about money or revenue, you know, today, so, it's not clear if they are going to be monetizing the video clips or anything like that." The move positions Spotify to compete with Google's YouTube and IAC/Interactive's Vimeo, and others. CNET's Joan Solsman: SOUNDBITE: JOAN SOLSMAN, SENIOR WRITER, CNET (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Spotify is going up against some very intimidating players. For one, there is Pandora, which is by far more used than Spotify is. Just- it's centered in the U.S. It's also facing the launch of beats by Apple. That's expected to come next month. That means that a huge computing company is going to be launching a service that is pretty comparable to what Spotify has. Spotify had 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users at the end of 2014.