Spotify Is Adding Music Videos, but Don’t Get Too Excited (Yet)

Americans will have to wait a little longer

The new music video display for a Spotify artist
In some countries, Spotify is offering a limited number of music videos.

Today, the music streaming service Spotify announced the rollout of music videos for its Premium (paid) users. The caveat? The video service won’t be available in the United States, for now.

“So many times in my own experience and for countless others, music videos play a key role in hooking you: taking you from being a listener to leaning in and becoming a fan,” says Charlie Hellman, Vice President and Head of Music Product at Spotify. “They’re an important part of so many artists’ tool kits, and it’s a natural fit for them to live in the same place that more than half a billion people choose to listen to music.”

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The beta rollout will take place in 11 countries — the U.K., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia and Kenya. The selection of videos will also be limited at launch, although big names like Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat and Ice Spice will be represented (one reason is that these clips seem to be hosted on the streaming site, not accessed from YouTube). To access a clip, users select the “Switch to Video” toggle for supported music tracks and “Switch to Audio” to return to Spotify’s music-only interface. That said, TechRadar noticed it’s not quite that intuitive: to find the toggle, users will have to click into the track to bring up the Now Playing video or scroll down an artist’s page to a new section that lists their music videos

The introduction of music videos seems like a big deal — unless you use a rival service like Apple, YouTube Music, Tidal or Amazon Music, where videos already exist (Spotify does seem to take a while to add common features from other streaming sites). Spotify already employs some video components, including short looping visuals that essentially act as video artwork (Canvas), under-30-second videos (Clips) and video podcasts; getting full-length music video clips seems long overdue.

And for users in the United States, it’ll take a little longer still.

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