Is Spotify About to Become the New Old MTV?

Streaming service announces 12 original video series

May 9, 2016 9:00 am

Video killed the radio star, they said.

But as time is cyclical and so too all things it governs, video will now roll back the stone and bring the radio star back to life.

Internet radio titan Spotify just announced they’ll be working with music and Hollywood heavyweights like T-Bone Burnett, Tim Robbins and Russell Simmons to bring 12 original video series to their streaming service.

The content will be available to free and paid users in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden.

The company — which added clips from the BBC, ESPN and Comedy Central last year — is hoping that the original content will keep its 75 million users from heading over to competitors like YouTube and Apple Music to get their video fix.

Although the first wave of programs will be related to music, Spotify does plan to offer shows that focus on comedy and animation, with episodes ranging from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour.

“Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us,” says Spotify content partnerships chief Tom Calderone. “We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they can come here for something other than playlists.”

While there aren’t previews of the actual shows yet, we do have a first glimpse of Drawn & Recorded, in which Burnett narrates famous anecdotes from rock history alongside animation from Drew Christie.


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