Spotify Introduces Music Videos to Select Regions

Here’s the full list of countries where you’ll find music videos starting today: Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Poland, Philippines, Sweden and UK. In addition to living in one of those countries, music videos also require an active premium subscription. Instead of searching for music videos directly or browsing videos in a separate section of the app, music videos can be started from the “Now Playing” screen. With music videos, Spotify is adding more video content to its app, beyond Clips (short videos of artists talking to fans) and Canvas (looping album artworks). Apple Music also has music videos in a separate section on each artist page.

Spotify is continuing to surprise its users with new features, and this time, it’s adding music videos to its mobile and desktop apps in select markets. Not only are these music videos seamlessly integrated into the streaming giant’s music library, but users can also easily switch between audio and video formats.

Although the addition of music videos is exciting news, it’s currently only available in beta mode in 11 markets, with the U.S. not being part of the initial rollout. To clarify, these countries are Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Poland, Philippines, Sweden, and the UK.

“For this beta rollout, we selected these markets carefully, taking into consideration factors such as market size and local content support. But don’t worry, as we plan to expand our music video catalog and increase availability to more countries in the future,” stated Sten Garmark, Spotify’s VP Global Head of Consumer Experience, in an email.

In addition to living in one of the 11 select markets, users will also need an active premium subscription to access the new music video feature. Free users will still have to turn to YouTube to watch music videos.

But how will this new feature actually work? Instead of having to search for music videos or navigate to a separate section of the app, users can now start watching music videos directly from the “Now Playing” screen. When listening to a song with a corresponding music video available, there will be a button that says “Switch to Video” that users can tap to seamlessly transition to the video format.

The music video will start playing from the beginning, even if the user was already in the middle of the song. It will also replace the album artwork on the screen. If users want to watch the video in full screen, they can rotate their phone to landscape mode.

It’s worth noting that, unlike other streaming services that simply embed YouTube videos or partner with third-party companies, Spotify is directly hosting and delivering these music videos without any ads. When asked about royalties for music videos compared to audio streams, the company was not able to provide a response.

To switch back to background listening, users can tap on the “Switch to Audio” button, which will turn off the music video and continue playing the song in audio format. And for those who watch the music video until the end, Spotify will automatically play the next song in their queue in audio format.

On the desktop version of Spotify, music videos will appear in the right-hand column with information about the current song and artist. The feature is also available on TVs, making it a perfect addition to the streaming service’s TV apps for Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, gaming consoles, and various smart TV models.

At the moment, the selection of music videos in the Spotify catalog is limited, but the company has already secured distribution rights to add more videos in the future.

“For our initial beta rollout, we have a limited subset of the full catalog, which still includes thousands of music videos. Within this subset, our goal is to prioritize a diverse range of genres and artists across all of our launch markets,” explained Garmark.

This new feature release comes at an interesting time as Universal Music Group has recently taken down its songs from TikTok due to a dispute over royalties. With the addition of music videos, Spotify is expanding its video content beyond Clips (short videos of artists talking to fans) and Canvas (looping album covers).

Furthermore, Spotify is catching up with other streaming services, such as YouTube Music and Apple Music, which also offer music videos. However, Spotify’s feature stands out as it makes it easy for users to switch between audio and video formats. In comparison, YouTube Music only offers music videos when searching for a song or browsing an artist’s page, while Apple Music has a separate section for music videos on each artist’s page.

With the integration of music videos into its platform, Spotify continues to push the boundaries and provide its users with a unique and enhanced listening experience. As the company plans to expand this feature to more countries and add even more videos, we can’t wait to see what other surprises Spotify has in store for us in the future.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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