(Update: live now in the app) Spotify to launch video content on Android this week

by: Rob TriggsJanuary 26, 2016
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Update, January 26: The Shows section of Spotify – where podcasts and videos will live – is now available in the Android app. You should find it in the Browse section (also known as Now), among stuff like recommended music, Discover Weekly, Charts, and Genres and Moods.

The section is split between Audio shows (a.k.a. podcasts) and Video, where you will find an assortment of clips from ESPN, ABC News, Comedy Central, NBC Entertainment, Adult Swim, and a few others. For now, only portions of shows are available. The podcasts section includes content from HowStuffWorks.com, Dan Carlin, Commonplace Books, Criminal, Marc Maron, Tim Ferris, Slate, and more. Some podcasts don’t feature a full catalog – for instance, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History includes only episodes 50 to 56.

The videos and podcasts are only available on the Android app for now – iOS users and the web app will have to wait.

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Original post, January 25: Back in May, Spotify announced that it would be moving beyond music to offer video content too, in the form of music videos, podcasts and content created by a selection of partners. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify will finally launch its video content service through its Android app later this week, with iOS to follow the week after.

Video content will land in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden initially, according to the company, having undergone a long journey of testing in these regions. We won’t know exactly what video content will be included in the Android app until Spotify makes an official announcement, but the report states that the current content mostly consists of short clips and seems to be focusing on contextually relevant videos, in order to engage users that are used to leaving the app on the background to listen to music.

To differentiate itself from other video platforms, Spotify wants content specifically created for its service, which it will sort into categories such as “News of the Week” and “Laughs for Lunch”. Clearly the company has much bigger plans than just hosting music videos. Last year, Spotify had announced partnerships with the BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, MTV, and Vice News, among others, to produce content.

Despite accumulating 20 million paying subscribers, Spotify is still not a profitable company yet and it doesn’t seem to be ready to monetize its new mobile video service right away. The video service will apparently be launching to all users without any advertising. Insteads it is a play to expand Spotify’s audience. However, last year Chief Executive Daniel Ek said that video ads would eventually become an important revenue source for the company.