Spotify rolls out video streaming to challenge YouTube 

Music streaming platform, Spotify is rolling out video streaming starting from Wednesday in a move that brings it into direct competition with the dominant player in the video space, YouTube.  

The video feature, which is still in beta version is rolling out first to Premium users in select countries including in the U.K., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Kenya.  

Spotify said the feature is being rolled out with a limited catalog of music videos, including hits from global artists like “Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, and Ice Spice, or local favorites like Aluna and Asake.” 

While it aims to reach 1 billion users by 2030, Spotify’s new plan faces competition from Apple Music and Google’s YouTube, which allows users to watch music videos for free. 

Why video? 

Explaining the rationale behind the audio streaming platform’s introduction of video, Spotify’s Vice President and Head of Music Products, Charlie Hellman, said:  

  • “So many times in my own experience and for countless others, music videos play a key role in hooking you: taking you from being a listener to leaning in and becoming a fan. 
  • “They’re an important part of so many artists’ tool kits, and it’s a natural fit for them to live in the same place that more than half a billion people choose to listen to music.” 

He added that through Spotify features like Canvas, Clips, Artist Bios, Live Events, and Merch, artists are able to connect with new fans and loyal listeners in meaningful ways. Canvas visuals in particular have been shown to drive engagement, with users sharing, saving, or adding songs to playlists at a higher rate. 

How to watch music videos on Spotify 

In the beta launch, Spotify said it would continue to innovate and iterate based on feedback from both users and artists. It also promised to expand the catalog of music videos and bring the feature to more users and countries.  

Here’s how to watch videos on Spotify: 

  • Premium listeners in the selected markets can head to their iOS, Android, desktop, or TV device and select the “Switch to Video” toggle for supported music tracks.  
  • Then, the music video will start playing from the beginning within the Now Playing view.  
  • To return to background listening, simply press “Switch to Audio.”. 
  • You can even watch the music video in full screen by turning your mobile device to watch in landscape mode. 

What you should know 

In March last year, Spotify had introduced, opens new tab “clips”, under-30-second vertical videos that are uploaded directly to Spotify for artists. 

The company has also expanded its offerings to include podcasts and audiobooks in a bid to attract more users. 

In February, it forecast premium subscribers would reach 239 million in the current quarter, above estimates of 238.3 million. 

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