The music group underneath Viacom’s wide-ranging umbrella – MTV, VH1, CMT and a few others that comprise the family of channels – is currently in the midst of forming a partnership with streaming service Spotify, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The move will see the integration of various playlists and music-focused features across the relevant networks’ websites. Viacom president and chief executive Van Toffler says the alliance is part of an effort to resurrect its networks’ reputation for providing “unfiltered access” to artists and bands, and potentially bury the reality show format that’s taken hold within the last decade.
This time around, though, the emphasis will be solely on the tunes themselves, and Viacom plans to achieve this revival through the Internet, not television sets.
The new music-streaming partnership will mean the addition of at least 150 playlists (accessible for free) to the various sites in Viacom’s music group network. Users will be able to listen to featured artists and playlists with music from popular series and franchises as well, such as MTV’s Love and Hip-Hop and CMT’s Party Down South. Spotify, in turn, will push the playlists and featured artists to its 40-million-strong user base.
Partnerships like this are easy ways for Spotify to pick up new subscribers and expand awareness of its service, especially when you consider the big boys like Amazon, Google and now Apple that are encroaching on Spotify’s territory with comparable offerings. And while Beats Music may look like a small fry alongside the Spotify colossus, the leading music-streaming service’s ears likely perked up back in May when Apple picked up Beats for a cool $3 billion.
A partnership with Viacom probably can’t hurt Spotify, and it might just expose the service to more users, some of whom might even end up shelling out the $10 per month for a Premium subscription. That’s assuming, of course, that anyone who still watches MTV actually listens to music.