May 20, 2015


Welcome to the New Spotify: Videos, Podcasts, Flashy Partnerships

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

What's being called "the New Spotify" is about to add video components, podcasts, news and tons of partners to what's been, until now, primarily a music-streaming/discovery app. Here's word from the BBC, which is one of Spotify's many new top-tier partners (alongside MTV, Disney, ESPN and NBC):

"The new offerings include news bulletins from National Public Radio, the BBC and others as well as longer video and audio podcasts and clips. Spotify has more than 60 million regular users across 58 countries. It says about 20% pay for its premium ad-free subscription services. Chief executive Daniel Ek said that represents more than half of the global market in 'streaming dollars.'"

Back in May, Jay Z's starry Tidal launch included MadonnaRihannaBeyoncéDaft PunkJack White and everyone else in music, front and center. Spotify's answer, today, as reported by Vulture's Dee Lockett, was to bring out beloved Broad City stars—and internet content O.G.'s—Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson:

...and Forbes-verified Electronic Cash King Tiesto:

...and Questlove and D'Angelo, too, for a performance.

One of the biggest new additions, per Vulture, is Spotify's sportsy BPM software:

"Spotify's flashiest new feature is also its most invasive. Dubbed Spotify Running, the platform plans to 'integrate music into our lives,' starting with fitness. Using the built-in sensors on our phones, Spotify will suggest songs with the same beats per minute as the pace and tempo at which you're running, essentially timing your movement with whatever you're listening to (which, as guest speaker Tiesto explained, could be a playlist exclusively curated by the DJ)."

Previous big-picture advancements in Spotify's history included the 2011 launch of Spotify Radio (started as desktop-only, went mobile six months later) and the similarly timed late '11 launch of native apps. Partners for the app wing (dubbed Spotify Platform) included Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard and—YOU GUESSED IT—Fuse. The app experiment got the axe in November of 2014. It was fun while it lasted. (Speaking as a user rather than a Fuser.) We'll keep you posted on what the new Spotify's like, and how its ambitions are shaping up.

Below is what I think is "a trailer for the new Spotify." It indicates that what's been your go-to music app is now looking to tie itself into every aspect of your life, including the times you eat watermelon, skateboard and do laundry. This is all extremely realistic, but also just so iTunes-y and Tidal-ish. That streaming service's motto is "Tidal for All"; Spotify's new catchphrase is "For now. For you." Are we just openly beefing now?