Spotify announced the company would be getting into the video arena in May of last year, and now video is finally rolling out under the name Spotify Shows, with Android devices getting first dibs. If you’re an iPhone user, don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long. The Wall Street Journal reports that Shows will be coming to iOS next week.
Initially available to users in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden, Spotify shows isn’t exactly front and center in the app yet. To find it, head to the Browse section and scroll down until you see the new entry for Shows. Once there, you’ll find a collection of clips from The Daily Show, SportsCenter, and more.
Companies currently providing content include the BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, Maker Studios, and Vice Media. There are also plans for original, music-themed series exclusive to the service, with food and travel video network Tastemade named as one provider.
The company has been testing video gradually over the past several months with less than 10 percent of its users across the four countries, according to Spotify vice president Shiva Rajaraman. While some may have complained about the company taking so long between announcing the feature and launching it, he says this timing was always the plan.
“We are at the end of a journey of testing,” Rajaraman said. “We are going out effectively as planned. Our goal was largely to get a wide breadth of content and experiment and test.”
According to Rajaraman, Spotify has found that testers responded best to videos tied to the kind of music people like or music in general, with Epic Rap Battles doing particularly well. Testing also saw the company streamline the way content is presented, focusing on packages like “News of the Week” and “Laughs at Lunch.”
Users won’t need to worry about whether or not they have an active Spotify subscription, as the new video streaming will be available to all. Rajaraman says the addition of video “is fundamentally about giving music fans what they want.”
With the competition — mainly YouTube — so well entrenched, it remains to be seen how well the new feature will take off with users. With even the heaviest Spotify users, the service is normally operating in the background, and Rajaraman admits the company faces a challenge when it comes to getting users to turn to the app for video.
Still, the company seems confident. “We are doing fine on monetization,” Rajaraman said. “This is primarily a demand play.”
Updated on 1-26-2015 by Kristofer Wouk: Added information regarding the launch of Spotify Shows on Android
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