Spotify announces big push into video and podcasts

Spotify tries to improve its offering weeks before Apple launches music streaming service

Spotify has launched a big push into video and podcasts, announcing content deals with providers ranging from sport channel ESPN to youth-oriented brand Vice Media. The move comes as it tries to improve its offering weeks before Apple launches its own music streaming service.

Daniel Ek, Spotify chief executive, said the addition of video content was a "massive leap forward" and would draw new users to the company's streaming service.

The Swedish group is adding short video clips from partners that include the BBC and NBC to a revamped music platform. The revamped service included new features such as intuitive music selection for runners that selects tracks based on the runner's speed, and greater personalisation based on users' listening habits and tastes. The personalisation was made possible by analytics technology which Spotify acquired when it bought the Echo Nest, a data group, last year, Mr Ek said.

Windowing contracts

The launch comes amid intensifying competition in music streaming. Rival providers such as Apple and



, the service relaunched by hip hop artist Jay Z, are trying to secure “windowing” deals with top music stars in which new albums and singles would be offered exclusively on their services for limited periods. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015