What Happened: Spotify aims to become a broader entertainment destination by adding video clips and audio shows to its library. The streaming music service is introducing a “more accessible, personal and usable” experience, said CEO Daniel Ek. Additionally, Spotify plans to create original content in the future, including artist-presented audio shows, guest playlists, exclusive interviews and more. Finally, Spotify is adding a service called “Now,” which features predictive playlists based on users’ anticipated interests. Initially, new content will come from various partner media outlets such as Comedy Central, ABC, and ESPN.
What This Means for Brands: Spotify has streamed 25 billion listening hours to 15 million commercial-free, paying customers and 45 million other listeners who utilize the free-with-ads service. It now enters the realm of media distribution, and stands to compete with networks such as Snapchat and iTunes. Tidal, another streaming music service bought by Jay-Z this year, also offers exclusive video content. With sales of downloads slipping, it is becoming clear that playlists are the new radio. Brands should consider these networks as part of their marketing mix for content and advertising purposes. Video and audio partnerships will become increasingly important as streaming networks look for new formats and material.