Yesterday, Spotify announced that it would begin streaming video content, both aggregated and original.
The service, which is part of an ongoing battle to be the most popular streaming service, also launched a program that would create playlists for runners based on the tempo of their footsteps.
Industry leaders shared their thoughts on how the integration of video and music streaming can best be taken advantage of by marketers and advertisers.
Dominic Sandifer, president, GreenLight Media & Marketing
With the music labels lobbying Spotify heavily to move away from the ad supported “freemium” model, as well as other streaming services like Apple’s soon to be launched service, making a big move into online video is a very smart play for Spotify. They’ll likely be able to quickly convert their advertiser relationships into online video where engagement, impressions and viewership rates are exponentially higher than the basic ad impressions they get now on Spotify’s streaming services. And it will allow Spotify to dive deeply into more branded content as many brands like Hyundai, American Express and Pepsi are already producing great content with partners like the Grammys that can benefit from the additional distribution and audience reach that Spotify will likely provide.
While MCN style players such as Fullscreen and Tastemade will certainly be good and active partners, it will be the more progressive music industry content producers and experts like Live Nation, Vice, Universal Music Group and our sister agency RedLight Management that will be best suited to create original and branded series for Spotify. They’ll need lots of original programming featuring label-driven stars (not just YouTube creators) that have both music industry and brand muscle behind them to breakthrough beyond what has always been the difference maker in the space: music videos. Spotify will need to be prepared to acquire and create that kind of content and they’ll need brand dollars to help. It’s a huge opportunity for brands to have a say in the programming, not unlike back in the early days of the sports cable business when Budweiser heavily influenced what kind of programming went on ESPN’s original air. It’s a big but smart bet for Spotify, if they are ready to invest at that level needed to become what may amount to the next generation’s MTV.
Gian LaVecchia, digital content marketing lead, MEC North America
In terms of capitalizing on Spotify’s new offering, brands are now uniquely equipped to connect with audiences through the lens of one of their most personal and valued passion points on an addictive, multi-sensory (i.e. sight, sound, motion & interactivity) platform that already delivers a deeply engaged audience base. One can easily imagine original and co-created video programming experiences that tap into real audience intelligence and behavioral data to deliver content that is engaging, culturally relevant and perhaps most importantly engineered for social sharing and consumption. That said, one area to be fully cognizant of is that audio, in the most general terms, is a lean-back experience vs. video which is clearly a more actively engaged lean-forward behavior. As a result, it may take some time to scale video consumption behaviors across Spotify's pc and mobile platforms.
When it comes to competing with major video players, it will take some time for them to approach the video delivery numbers we're witnessing on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. For one, the audience numbers on both currently dwarf Spotify estimates (~60MM Monthly Global UUs) so I do not anticipate the velocity of growth that we witnessed with Facebook, that essentially turned on a massive video business overnight delivering more than 3B video views per day. That said, I think the real opportunity for Spotify is less about scale and perhaps should be more focused on high quality video programming delivered to audiences via sophisticated targeting solutions.
Rye Clifton, product strategy director, GSD&M
Spotify is in an interesting position to try something new. By their own account they supply more than 50% of the streaming music online. They know a lot about what people like, don’t like, and how they listen. If they are really building out a smarter system to create playlists, why would they limit it to just music?
The area Spotify really owns is the between-time. They are already the background music most of the day, and now they are going after the spare couple of minutes you have between meetings, while waiting in line, or taking a trip to the bathroom. From the partners they have lined up, it seems like they are building a network of bite-sized content that fits in with the longer form videos you might watch at the end of the day.
This is an exciting time in advertising. This kind of platform opens a lot of new doors to what is possible. We have the opportunity to create relevant content that people will appreciate rather than avoid. The goal is to strike the right balance so that we can enhance the platform rather than create more clutter.
Fun times ahead.
Jordan Gray, manager of creative labs, Organic
Spotify had a video takeover for brands to leverage, but it hasn't made much sense for marketers to choose that format over something like an audio spot which perfectly fits the Spotify use case and audience. The announcement of video content coming to Spotify brings the application out of the background with audio apps normally living to the front and center of a user's main screen, whereas a video takeover makes perfect sense. Being able to tie a static image tile to the video content offers a clear call to action for users. The real highlight is that Spotify builds its video playlists around mood instead of genre, so it will be possible for marketers to tweak creative not just for a demographic, but for how that audience is feeling at the time of impression.
Sean Lyons, global chief digital officer, Havas Worldwide
This is an exciting move and clearly something they need to do to compete more broadly. By branching into video Spotify is committing itself to be a true entertainment platform. For me, there are three elements advertisers should keep their eyes on. The most obvious one is that Spotify is now tailoring playlists and music suggestions based on your listening habits. This enables brands to provide more relevant and timely messages.
Second, they are going to provide original content, brands should get in on the ground floor. But, in my view the most compelling aspect of the announcement is the partnership with Nike. Runners listen to music when they run. Developing a soundtrack that adapts to your pace as you run is something that's truly useful to runners. This idea exists in the world but its not well executed, I’m sure Spotify will do a great job. Brands need to think along these lines when partnering with Spotify, everybody wins, most importantly the consumer.