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Spotify to Test Full Music Videos for Premium Subscribers in Potential YouTube Faceoff

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Swedish music streaming company Spotify is rolling out full-length music videos in a limited beta launch for premium subscribers, venturing into an arena that YouTube has dominated for nearly two decades.

Music videos will be available to premium users in the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Kenya, in beta starting on Wednesday, the company said, as it attempts to grow its user base.

While it aims to reach 1 billion users by 2030, Spotify’s new plan faces competition from Apple Music and Alphabet’s YouTube, which allows users to watch music videos for free.

Spotify’s roll-out will include a “limited catalog of music videos, including hits from global artists like Ed Sheeran … or local favorites like Aluna,” it said.

In March last year, Spotify had introduced “clips”, under-30-second vertical videos that are uploaded directly to Spotify for artists.

The company has also expanded its offerings to include podcasts and audiobooks in a bid to attract more users.

In February, it forecast premium subscribers would reach 239 million in the current quarter, above estimates of 238.3 million.

In January, Spotify said users in Europe would be able to buy audiobooks and subscription plans from within the music-streaming app from March as a result of the region’s new competition law for Big Tech.

The move would help the company avoid Apple’s 30 percent fee for purchases through its App Store, which has long been a source of contention between app developers and the tech giant.

Spotify has for years been in embroiled in a legal battle, alleging that it was forced to raise the price of its monthly subscriptions to cover costs tied to Apple’s App Store rules.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


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