According to Bloomberg, the popular Swedish music startup Spotify will be introducing as many as twelve new original video shows on its platform later this summer and fall as it works to diversify its offering and keep customers coming back for more.
Starring the likes of actor Tim Robbins and Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, the new shows will be available to both free and paid Spotify users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden, with individual episodes ranging from a few minutes to fifteen minutes.
Spotify doubling down on original content production
Some of the new shows include “Landmark,” a documentary series in which each episode tells the story of a significant moment in music history. “The producers have shot two episodes so far, one about the Beach Boys album ‘Pet Sounds’ and another about the band Metallica,” reads the Bloomberg article.
“Rush Hour,” another new show on Spotify, will see two hip-hop acts being driven to an undisclosed location to conceive a musical collaboration that they must perform before a crowd. “In the pilot, shot at the South by Southwest Music Festival, the camera focuses on the crowd and the atmosphere without ever showing the stage,” said sources.
Comedy and animated series tailored to Spotify’s young audience are in the works, too, including “Drawn & Recorded,” an animated series narrated by Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett and focused on a particular artist or moment in history.
And just like Apple’s been doing since Apple Music’s debut, Spotify too wants to collaborate with artists on video in conjunction with upcoming albums. Spotify ventured into video production a year ago, adding short videos from the BBC and Comedy Central.
In other Spotify news, last month the company bought CrowdAlbum, a startup which specializes in aggregating photos and videos from artists’ performances. The acquisition will enhance the development of products that help artists understand, activate and monetize their audiences on the Spotify platform.
Spotify becoming the next iTunes?
As of June 2015, Spotify had 75 million active users and twenty million paying customers signed up for its $9.99 per month streaming plan. It is believed that the service now has thirty million paid accounts versus Apple Music’s thirteen million subscriptions.
After introducing video on Spotify, the company has been working feverishly on expanding its platform. Recently, for example, Spotify started hosting podcasts on its platform. Podcasts can now also be found on Google’s Play store.
Sensing danger, Apple invited top podcast producers to its Cupertino headquarters to hear about their grievances. Producers mostly complain about iTunes’ non-existent support for advanced features such as monetization options, rich stats and other things podcasters have been craving for.