Spotify Goes Beyond the Music

Looking to stay ahead of newcomers to the streaming music space — including the Jay Z-backed Tidal and rumored re-launch of Apple’s Beats Music — Spotify today unveiled some major updates for 2015; including, surprisingly, a massive video partnership with some major content providers.

The rollout of Spotify’s new platform — starting today for iPhone users in the US, UK, Germany, and Sweden — will include an updated “Now” start page, designed to serve up unique playlists based on time of day/day of week recommendations. Spotify Now will learn each user’s preferences over time, creating a customized streaming experience.

Spotify Running

In addition to Now, the company will unveil Spotify Running to iPhone users worldwide, also beginning today. Spotify Running, as the name implies, will work with the iPhone’s accelerometer to sense a user’s tempo while exercise and serve-up music to accompany the workout. Spotify also plans to team with popular fitness apps Nike+ and RunKeeper to provide the Running experience through third-party apps.

Similar to what Sirius/XM has done, Spotify will also be working with artists such as Tyler, the Creator and Icona Pop to deliver specially curated radio shows and original content.

Perhaps the biggest headline of today’s announcement is the integration of video clips into Spotify — much of which is being provided by some of the bigger names in entertainment. Disney, NBCUniversal, ABC, Adult Swim, TBS, and TED Talks are among the providers who will be supplying video clips to the Spotify audience in-app.

While I’m not certain how the video aspect will play into Spotify, I have this image in my head of those local news & Tonight Show clips that run in the back of taxis — entertaining, yes; but only when there’s literally nothing else to pay attention to.

As mentioned, the new Spotify update will roll-out to iPhone users beginning today. No word on when Android will receive the same treatment.