After dominating the streaming music business, Spotify is reportedly wooing media companies and web creators for a new online video service.
Citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify is looking to acquire content from YouTube creators and work with them on new series. Spotify may be reaching out to traditional media companies as well.
It’s unclear whether Spotify has any arrangements in place right now. While the Journal describes the company as having “discussions” with digital media players, the paper also claims that an announcement could happen as soon as this month. Spotify has been sending invites for a May 20 press event in New York with no indications of what the topic will be.
The story behind the story: Spotify would be entering an increasingly crowded and cutthroat field. Netflix and Amazon are locked in battle over original content, while Hulu has recently struck major licensing deals with Turner (for content from Cartoon Network and other channels) and Sony Pictures TV (for the entire Seinfeld series). YouTube is planning its own original content push for this year, but faces new competition from Vessel, which focuses solely on the type of high-quality videos that YouTube wants to monetize most.
Spotify’s secret sauce
According to the Journal, Spotify’s advantage could be the data it has on users’ listening habits. Someone who listens to energetic workout music, for instance, might have different video interests than someone who’s into Spotify’s “chill” genre.
It’s hard to say how exactly this would work, however, without any details on the kinds of videos Spotify will offer. And in any case, the service will reportedly be open to both existing Spotify subscribers and non-subscribers.
The company has money some money to spend now, having reportedly just raised $350 million in funding. And given that Spotify’s music side has yet to become profitable, it’s understandable why the company might want to expand.
This isn’t the first time a streaming music service has tried to cross into the video realm. In 2013, rival Rdio launched an on-demand streaming service called Vdio, but it had nothing to offer that wasn’t already available through incumbent services like iTunes and Amazon. Rdio shut down the effort after just eight months.