Spotify is going to start rolling out videos to Android users this week, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The video service combines smaller videos and some original content from partners including the BBC, ESPN, and Maker Studios. At the announcement event, Spotify said Vice News, ABC, and others were also onboard.
The roll out is starting in the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden, according to Spotify, and will eventually expand to other markets and iPhone users.
Spotify was not clear on what kinds of videos would be pushed to users. The company has found that video that links in with the music — such as Maker Studio’s “Epic Rap Battles” series — do better than others and has used the initial roll-out as an opportunity to work out what works and what doesn’t.
“We are at the end of a journey of testing,” Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s vice president of product told the WSJ. “We are going out effectively as planned. Our goal was largely to get a wide breadth of content and experiment and test.”
One problem that Spotify does face is the kind of devices users access the service on. Smartphone users tend to leave the app running in the background, which makes pushing videos harder. Desktop users do exist, but often minimise Spotify and do other things.
“Obviously our primary user is a music fan, and they are not necessarily leaning in and looking into the app,” said Rajaraman. “So there are no particular recipes for how to get this right.”
The videos are not accompanied by adverts at the moment, but the company has plans to in the future. Spotify currently has two revenue sources: Adverts for non-subscribers and subscription revenue. CEO Daniel Ek has described video as “an important revenue source” in the future.
“We are doing fine on monetisation. This is primarily a demand play,” said Rajaraman.
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