Spotify is getting serious about video: The music streaming service will start to add videos from a variety of publishers to its mobile apps this week. Some of the publishers that are part of the initiative include ABC, Condé Nast Entertainment, TBS, Fusion, Comedy Central, Maker Studios and others.
The new video section will first be available to users of Spotify’s Android app. The service will add it to its iOS app in select markets at the end of next week. News of the launch was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and has since been confirmed by Spotify.
Spotify’s video initiative is being led by the company’s VP of product Shiva Rajaraman, who previously worked as the director of product management at YouTube. Rajaraman joined Spotify in the summer of 2014, and the music service has been talking openly about its intent to add video to its service for quite some time. However, Rajaraman told the Journal that the launch wasn’t delayed, but preceded by an extended testing period.
Spotify executives have in the past been quite frank about the reason for adding video to their service: It’s a way to retain users without having to pay the high royalty rates associated with streaming music.
However, Spotify isn’t the only service combining video with music: YouTube has made music an essential part of its YouTube Red subscription service, which offers a Spotify-like music catalog as well as ad-free viewing across YouTube’s huge library for $10 a month. And Vevo is looking to add more video content to its music video service as it tries top build out its own products to better compete with YouTube.