Watch out, YouTube: Music videos could be coming to Spotify (report)

Spotify is working on adding music videos to its app.

That’s according to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who discovered an unreleased ‘video’ tab on Spotify’s ‘Now Playing’ screen.

On Saturday (June 20), the engineer tweeted a screenshot and wrote that “Spotify is finally working on a tab to switch between Canvas, Album Art, and Video”.

‘Canvas’ is Spotify’s looping visuals feature, which exists in the “Now Playing” area, and for which Spotify expanded its beta program in October.

As Jane Manchun Wong notes, the ‘Video’ section is obviously new.

Spotify has of course made previous attempts to integrate video content into its platform.

In 2015, Spotify announced that it would be welcoming short-form video content from media partners including Vice Media, Maker Studios, Comedy Central, the BBC, ESPN, Nerdist, NBC, and TED.

In October 2016, Swedish tabloid Breakit  branded the move a “videoflopp,” and cited sources as saying that Spotify had spent more than $50 million on the project.

Spotify also revealed in October 2016 that it had 12 original video shows in the works centered around three main themes – music performances, music profiles and music culture.

As noted in this Rolling Stone column, all 12 of these programs flopped, or were never even made.

The discovery of an unreleased video tab in the Now Playing section of the app comes at an interesting time for Spotify for a few reasons:

Firstly, there’s Spotify’s recent deal for the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast.

From the end of this year, both audio and video versions of The JRE will only be available on Spotify, via a licensing deal that the Wall Street Journal suggests will cost Daniel Ek’s company over $100m.

The video version of the JRE podcast is currently available on YouTube and the JRE YouTube channel has nearly 8.8 million subscribers.

Additionally, Spotify recently launched self-serve, sound-on video ads on its Ad Studio platform in the US, UK, and Canada.

In doing so, the platform highlighted just how impactful visuals can be when used as part of a campaign:

According to Spotify: “With the combination of audio and video ads, you have the opportunity to tell a more nuanced story that sparks interest and drives impact because you have the full attention of your audiences’ eyes and ears.”

 Music Business Worldwide