Spotify Breaks Into Video Content But Advertising Is On Pause

spotttSpotify is preparing to play in a very big pool – the world of original video content. The digital audio firm revealed the development during a New York City partner event it hosted Wednesday.

Spotify plans to work with producers and artists to offer its exclusive original content. It will also host non-exclusive content from ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Condé Nast Entertainment, ESPN, Fusion, Maker Studios, NBC, TED, Vice Media and independent musicians.

The company’s pivot into the video space comes amid reports that Google and Apple are developing competing music streaming offerings. Spotify’s move also mimics Facebook and Twitter, both of which have invested heavily in video content.

But Spotify is taking a wait-and-see stance on how this will translate to advertising. Last year, Spotify launched video ad products for mobile and desktop, which are the fastest-growing formats on the platform, according to Spotify Chief Business Officer Jeff Levick.

“This is about learning how consumers engage with video as well as with audio, and the interplay between those two things,” Levick told AdExchanger. “People are engaging with us at different times of the day when they’re doing different things. They’re in difference moods and states with different intents when they’re waking up, commuting, at work or going out.”

He added Spotify is “collecting incredible amounts of intent-based data about our users, which we think will be very valuable to advertisers.”

At its partner event, Spotify also unveiled a home page that delivers music recommendations based on listeners’ taste, age and the time of day, and a hub for runners that delivers personalized playlists and that can measure a runners’ steps per minute and play songs to match the pace.

The new running function ties in nicely with Spotify’s “Sponsored Session” ad offering, Levick said. The ad product lets brands launch a video in exchange for 30 minutes of ad-free listening. For instance, Nike could launch a branded video before sending a runner on an ad-free run.

“With the introduction of video on Spotify, we think there’s a huge opportunity to work with brands around branded content,” Levick said, adding that the firm is unfazed by the possibility of emerging music streaming services from the likes of Apple.

“We’ve been doing this for seven-plus years and we feel confident that we really understand music and the way that fans want to engage with music,” Levick said. “It’s a real validation to see other big players wanting to get into the space, and the way that they’re getting in is by streaming.”

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