Spotify will make big waves in video

“Spotify is going to be at the center of a lot of discussions around the future of journalism going forward, even if the company itself isn’t always mentioned by name.”

I’ve been beating this drum for three years, but: Spotify is going to do more with video in 2021 and after. This will be a big deal.

The first videos featured will be videos of podcasts and/or made by current podcast producers, especially by the companies Spotify already owns. Some of them might also be posted to Facebook or YouTube, but a solid slice of them from Spotify-owned companies will be exclusive to Spotify. The user-created content tools will probably lag behind, but some new partners will sign up.

The new video series will be on free Spotify (with video ads) and paid Spotify, as part of a subscription. It will be one-stop shopping for a big chunk of multimedia news and entertainment. It’s not just music, it’s not just podcasts; it’s a little bit of everything. It will be harder for vanilla podcast apps and “I don’t need to find them, good videos will find me” social media players to compete against an app that’s offering something closer to a general-purpose multimedia subscription. And digital and hybrid news organizations who might be wary of tying their fortunes to yet another media platform will have to figure out what they want to do.

On the other hand, Spotify’s and its subsidiaries’ labor problems (including reclassifying employees as contractors and dodging negotiations with their unions) won’t go away any time soon and could also continue to be a troubling model for other news organizations moving to multimedia. Platforms, media types, labor issues, new audiences: Spotify is going to be at the center of a lot of discussions around the future of journalism going forward, even if the company itself isn’t always mentioned by name.

Tim Carmody writes about media, technology, art, and culture.

I’ve been beating this drum for three years, but: Spotify is going to do more with video in 2021 and after. This will be a big deal.

The first videos featured will be videos of podcasts and/or made by current podcast producers, especially by the companies Spotify already owns. Some of them might also be posted to Facebook or YouTube, but a solid slice of them from Spotify-owned companies will be exclusive to Spotify. The user-created content tools will probably lag behind, but some new partners will sign up.

The new video series will be on free Spotify (with video ads) and paid Spotify, as part of a subscription. It will be one-stop shopping for a big chunk of multimedia news and entertainment. It’s not just music, it’s not just podcasts; it’s a little bit of everything. It will be harder for vanilla podcast apps and “I don’t need to find them, good videos will find me” social media players to compete against an app that’s offering something closer to a general-purpose multimedia subscription. And digital and hybrid news organizations who might be wary of tying their fortunes to yet another media platform will have to figure out what they want to do.

On the other hand, Spotify’s and its subsidiaries’ labor problems (including reclassifying employees as contractors and dodging negotiations with their unions) won’t go away any time soon and could also continue to be a troubling model for other news organizations moving to multimedia. Platforms, media types, labor issues, new audiences: Spotify is going to be at the center of a lot of discussions around the future of journalism going forward, even if the company itself isn’t always mentioned by name.

Tim Carmody writes about media, technology, art, and culture.

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Cory Haik   Be essential

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Jennifer Brandel   A sneak peak at power mapping, 2073’s top innovation

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Marcus Mabry   News orgs adapt to a post-Trump world (with Trump still in it)

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

María Sánchez Díez   Traffic will plummet — and it’ll be ok

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Mike Caulfield   2021’s misinformation will look a lot like 2020’s (and 2019’s, and…)

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Nikki Usher   Don’t expect an antitrust dividend for the media

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Richard Tofel   Less on politics, more on how government works (or doesn’t)

Julia B. Chan and Kim Bui   Millennials are ready to run things

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

Alfred Hermida and Oscar Westlund   The virus ups data journalism’s game

Ben Collins   We need to learn how to talk to (and about) accidental conspiracists

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Bill Adair   The future of fact-checking is all about structured data

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

Joshua P. Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Sue Cross   A global consensus around the kind of news we need to save

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Sam Ford   We’ll find better ways to archive our work

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

Shaydanay Urbani and Nancy Watzman   Local collaboration is key to slowing misinformation

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Raney Aronson-Rath   To get past information divides, we need to understand them first

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

Ariane Bernard   Going solo is still only a path for the few

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Candis Callison   Calling it a crisis isn’t enough (if it ever was)

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Kate Myers   My son will join every Zoom call in our industry

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Rachel Glickhouse   Journalists will be kinder to each other — and to themselves

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Patrick Butler   Covid-19 reporting has prepared us for cross-border collaboration

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Aaron Foley   Diversity gains haven’t shown up in local news

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting dodged a bullet in 2020, but 2021 will be harder

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Francesca Tripodi   Don’t expect breaking up Google and Facebook to solve our information woes

Tanya Cordrey   Declining trust forces publishers to claim (or disclaim) values

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Laura E. Davis   The focus turns to newsroom leaders for lasting change

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Astead W. Herndon   The Trump-sized window of the media caring about race closes again

Stefanie Murray and Anthony Advincula   Expect to see more translations and non-English content

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

AX Mina   2020 isn’t a black swan — it’s a yellow canary

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Juleyka Lantigua   The download, podcasting’s metric king, gets dethroned

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Ashton Lattimore   Remote work helps level the playing field in an insular industry

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

C.W. Anderson   Journalism changed under Trump — will it keep changing under Biden?

Sumi Aggarwal   News literacy programs aren’t child’s play

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Annie Rudd   Newsrooms grow less comfortable with the “view from above”

J. Siguru Wahutu   Journalists still wrongly think the U.S. is different

Rishad Patel   From direct-to-consumer to direct-to-believers

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky and Cassie Haynes   A shift from conversation to action

Benjamin Toff   Beltway reporting gets normal again, for better and for worse