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.

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

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

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

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

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

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

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

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

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

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

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

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

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

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

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

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

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

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

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

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

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

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

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

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

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

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

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

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

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

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

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

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

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

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

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

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

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

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

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

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

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

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Cory Haik   Be essential

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

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

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

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

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

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

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

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

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

Joshua P. Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

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

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

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

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

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

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

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

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

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