Spotify recently announced that it was getting into the original content business by launching 12 new shows, and guess what? They’ll all be on video. According to the company, the video shows will be “centered around three main themes – music performances, music profiles and music culture,” and the episodes will be up to fifteen minutes long.
The foray into original video programming comes on the heels of the service successfully showcasing clips from Comedy Central, ESPN and MTV within the app over the last year.
One of the shows is Landmark, which is a documentary series centered around important moments in music history. A second, Rush Hour, forces two artists to quickly collaborate on a setlist of songs that they must then perform live. Yet another features veteran actor Tim Robbins who will produce a mocumentary about a competition that becomes the next dance music craze. Also planned are a number of animated and comedic series “tailored to the service’s young audience.”
Spotify didn’t provide a launch date, but indicated that late summer or fall is targeted. The company did say that the shows will be available to all users on both paid and free tiers, and initially available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.
It’s pretty interesting that Spotify should jump into original programing, and especially video programming as well. Getting away from its streaming music core may be a stretch, but on the other hand, an audio-only show might be construed as trying to follow Apple Music’s Beats 1. Still, 12 shows is an ambitious agenda that requires not only a fair amount of corporate will, but the funds to match as well.
A year from now we may look back upon this decision and say how brilliant the execs at Spotify were, or we may say that they got away from the company’s core business. Only time will tell.