Spotify launches video service in challenge to Apple, YouTube

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 May, 2015, 11:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 May, 2015, 3:28pm

Streaming music service Spotify will soon provide video content from musicians, news organisations and TV networks in a bid to sign up more subscribers, the company said on Wednesday.

A new recommendation function, similar to what rival Pandora Media offers, will let people pick channels based on lifestyle activities, like "songs to sing to in the shower," or "100 plus hits form the 1980s," the Stockholm-based company said.

Watch: Spotify expands its content playlist to compete with Google's Youtube

In a splashy event in New York, Spotify founder and chief executive Daniel Ek highlighted the discovery nature of the revamped platform that he said will deliver more relevant music and content to Spotify users.

"There is a profound change happening in music we couldn't have foreseen," he said, noting how more people listen to music on smartphones.

Spotify struck a myriad of partnerships with news organisations like the BBC, Vice, Walt Disney Co's ABC, podcasts from Slate, and short programme clips from Turner Broadcasting "Conan" and Comedy Central's critically acclaimed hit, "Broad City."

"I love getting dozens of emails from Spotify," quipped Ilana Glazer, the creator and star of "Broad City," who was part of the programme,

Spotify said it will also develop original content and video dedicated for its users. It had 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users as of the end of 2014.

READ MORE: Apple courts musicians for exclusive streaming deals as Beats gears up to take on Spotify

But competition, not only from streaming music companies including Apple's Beats, is intensifying when other platforms such as Snapchat are thrown into the mix. Snapchat, which is surging in popularity, earlier this year introduced Discover, which helps people find interesting content.

During the roughly hour-long presentation Spotify did not address any revenueopportunities with its new content partners. The bulk of Spotify's revenue comes from subscriptions.