Spotify takes a page from MTV with original video series

Spotify’s video push includes 12 TV-style video series with musical themes.

Spotify is taking after MTV as it delves into original videos.

The streaming music service is developing 12 original video series for later this year, Bloomberg reports. Each show will have a musical theme, and episodes will range from a few minutes to 15 minutes in length. Both free and paid Spotify users will have access to the videos, presumably at no extra charge.

Rush Hour, for instance, tasks two hip-hop artists—one veteran, one newcomer—with remixing one of their famous tracks and performing it live. Russell Simmons’ production company All Def Digital is in charge of the project. Another series called Landmark will document important pieces of music history, while Trading Playlists will feature two celebrities sharing Spotify playlists for a day. (Business Insider has a full list of all the upcoming series.)

Spotify already dabbles in video, having launched short clips from major media brands in its iOS and Android apps last January. But those videos are not focused on music, and so far have been relegated to an inconspicuous section of Spotify’s apps. (To find them, you must enter the Browse section, select Podcasts & Videos, then select All Videos.)

By offering original series, Spotify is hoping that its 75 million users will spend more time in the company’s app. The pressure’s on, though, as YouTube already hosts a huge library of songs, music-related videos, and concert clips, and Apple Music has expanded into concert videos as well.

The story behind the story: Although Spotify is the most popular subscription streaming music service in the world, it has yet to turn a profit and has recently raised more money as it attempts to create a sustainable business. Nearly all of Spotify’s revenue comes from paid subscribers, so the expansion into video may help the company earn more from people who are only using the ad-supported version. But whether users are willing to tune in to Spotify for more than just music playlists is still up for debate.

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