Spotify adds video and podcasts to its ubiquitous music streaming service

Video is the next step for Spotify’s Daniel Ek.
Video is the next step for Spotify’s Daniel Ek.
Image: Spotify
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Spotify, the Swedish-born streaming music service, wants to be much more than just a streaming music service. At a glitzy event today in Manhattan, the company unveiled the addition of podcasts and video content for users as well as new personalization features.

The overhaul attempts to position the company as the central hub for its users’ consumption of basically everything on mobile devices—and pits it against Google-owned YouTube and fast-growing startup Snapchat, in addition to the wide array of competitors it already faces in the crowded streaming music landscape.

“We are a technology company by design, but we are really a music company at heart,” CEO Daniel Ek told people at the event. In further proof that podcasts are well and truly back, the streaming service will be adding ones from American Public Media and BBC.

Video on the service will take the form of short-form clips designed to be consumed on mobile devices, for example, during a users daily commute. A deluge of content partners will be supplying video, including Disney’s ESPN, Vice News, and Comedy Central. “We believe it will keep Spotify users happy and engaged during the day,” Ek said of the video offering. “Plus, it’s really awesome content.”

Spotify also struck a partnership deal with Nike that will see the music service integrated into the athletic apparel behemoth’s mobile running apps. ”There is an incredible opportunity to soundtrack your entire day and entire life in all of its complexity,” Ek said.

Later this month, Apple is expected to announce its formal entrance into the streaming music market, in a move that could reshape the industry landscape completely. Spotify recently raised $350 million in fresh funds and is now valued at more than $8 billion.