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.

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