You may be seeing music videos on Spotify soon, at least according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources from within the company, the report says Spotify is looking at adding full videos to the platform in an effort to compete with platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
The company has reportedly already been in talks with different partners to see what it would look like to offer music videos on the platform. Competitors like YouTube Music and Apple Music already allow artists to link to their officially distributed videos.
Who Would Watch Music Videos On Spotify?
As of now, Spotify's primary offering is audio. The company notoriously bought in to the podcasting space in a big way, investing more than $1 billion into the medium, largely through acquiring the rights to some of the top podcasts in the world. The company is now the second-most used platform for podcasts (behind YouTube).
Conversely, Spotify has never really figured out exactly how to integrate video into its platform. The most consistent function comes in the form of 8-second long visual loops that play behind a song on the phone. In the past, Spotify has also tested incorporating certain videos into playlists and allowing artists to share video messages with their Spotify Wrapped audience.
Simply put, they believe users will stick around to watch video on the app if the video is engaging enough. Music videos are still the most-watched category of YouTube video. So if that artist chooses to put their music videos on Spotify too, the company just may be able to create a more seamless experience for the user.
How Music Video Distribution Works Now
If Spotify does ultimately adopt full-length music videos on the platform, there's a good chance it will be much more controlled than YouTube, where any user can upload music videos. That includes regular people creating their own lyric videos and uploading them to the platform.
Instead, we're more likely to see Spotify adopt a similar approach to Apple Music, which has strict requirements for what can be uploaded as a music video. For instance — you're not even allowed to upload lyric videos in most cases. And you must go through a distributor.
In the past, using a distributor used to be really expensive and cumbersome. Companies like DistroVid have made this process a lot smoother and a lot more affordable. Of course, there's no guarantee Spotify adopts this method. We've also seen the company experiment with things like direct music uploads from the Spotify for Artists dashboard, too.
But we can make a safe assumption that if and when we see music videos on Spotify, the feature won't be available to all artists and it will require a bit more than simply uploading a clip a la YouTube.
Spotify's Search For Profitability
Spotify has been expanding at a rapid pace, growing its user base across the world to more than 550 million users throughout 184 countries and territories. But much of this growth has been about just that — users, not necessarily profit.
Ad-supported (read: free) users have been outpacing premium subscriptions. And not all premium subscriptions are created equally, either. Premium users in developing countries, on family plans, or tied in to things like network bundles don't bring in as much revenue for Spotify (and by extension, artists) as an individual premium user in a place like the United States.
While Spotify has taken some steps to increase the value of premium users, like finally increasing the price of plans, the company certainly seem intent on increasing their advertising space as a premium source in the quest for sustained profitability. And adding music videos on Spotify might just be another big opportunity to show ads, as video ads tend to outperform audio ads in many markets.
Spotify has captured a lot of ears, but they want to capture eyes, too. While the platform hasn't adopted full music videos just yet, we wouldn't be surprised to see them take a stab at it.