Spotify might soon let you watch music, not just listen to it. Bloomberg sources claim the streaming service is mulling the addition of full-length music videos to its app. The company is reportedly talking to potential partners, but it’s not clear who would support the feature or when it might arrive. Spotify has already declined to comment.
Video on Spotify is currently limited to podcasts, 30-second storytelling clips (to help artists talk about their work) and 10-second GIFs that loop while you listen to a given song. The media giant launched a TikTok-like home feed in March, but it’s meant more for discovering music and podcasts than video viewing. The company tried using TV content several years ago, such as clips from Comedy Central and ESPN, but it didn’t gain much traction.
The concept isn’t novel for streaming music services. Apple Music has had music videos for years. Spotify’s addition would help it match Apple, though, and might lure audiences who would otherwise watch the videos on YouTube. It would also add content to the new feed and help Spotify draw musically-inclined viewers from social networks like Instagram and TikTok.
Music videos don’t generate much direct revenue by themselves. YouTube gives creators a 55 percent share of ad revenue, which on average amounts to $18 per 1,000 views. Artists, labels and others involved then have to split that small amount. The clips supplement audio income, though, and potentially improve exposure for musicians.
There’s pressure to find new sources of income, too. Spotify laid off a significant portion of its staff earlier this year, including 200 in its podcast team, as it grappled with both a rough global economy and business missteps. Music videos could improve the company’s finances without requiring a large production team, as is the case with podcasts.