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Earphones are seen on top of a smart phone with a Spotify logo on it, in Zenica February 20, 2014. Online music streaming service Spotify is recruiting a U.S. financial reporting specialist, adding to speculation that the Swedish start-up is preparing for a share listing, which one banker said could value the firm at as much as $8 billion (4 billion pounds). REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS SOCIETY) - RTX1971J
Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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STREAMING WARS

Spotify’s latest plan to crush Apple Music is a lot like Apple Music’s plan to crush Spotify

Ashley Rodriguez
By Ashley Rodriguez

Reporter

Apple Music has been dabbling with exclusive video content to lure more users to its budding streaming service. The tech giant released its first original TV series earlier this year and is developing a show with hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre.

Now Spotify is looking to one-up Apple. The Stockholm, Sweden-based company is pushing aggressively into video with its own roster of original content.

Spotify is planning 12 original video series with episodes up to 15 minutes long that will be available to Spotify’s paying subscribers and free users in the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden, according to Bloomberg.

Like Apple Music’s foray into video, the first few programs center on music, which is Spotify’s bread and butter. Later series will branch out into comedy and animation to reach the platform’s younger, core audience, Bloomberg reported.

One show called Rush Hour, which was created with Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, brings two hip-hop acts together to collaborate on a project they must perform in front of a live crowd. Another documentary show called Landmark highlights significant moments in music history.

Over the last eight years, Spotify has grown its user base to 75 million by focusing on streaming music. The company told Bloomberg that its “second act” will be all about video. It began experimenting with the medium a year ago by featuring clips from entertainment and news sources including ESPN, Vice, and Viacom.

Spotify’s latest move comes at an interesting time in the media calendar. TV and digital networks from AOL to ABC are currently in the midst of presenting their programming slates and advertising inventory to marketers during the annual showcase that’s known as the upfronts for TV companies and newfronts for digital properties.

It’s unclear whether Spotify’s short-form video series will include advertising. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But, if Spotify’s video efforts do include ads, the streaming service is likely trying to get on media buyers’ minds now as they plan for the 2016-2017 programming season.

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