The Wall Street Journal reports Spotify is finally ready to release video content for both the iOS and Android platforms. The Journal says the Android app will see the light of day first, later this week, with the iOS app due to hit devices next week.
Spotify had originally announced the plans to begin distributing videos and podcasts in May, with a lineup of traditional and digital content providers that included ESPN, Comedy Central, the BBC, Vice Media and Maker Studios.
The streaming content provider has been testing video content delivery with a small amount of users in the U.S., the U.K, Germany, and Sweden, over the last few months. The content has mostly consisted of short clips, although some content providers are said to be developing original, music-themed series especially for the Spotify service.
Reports indicated content providers were not happy with Spotify’s delayed release and extensive testing of the app, however, a Spotify executive says the launch timing was all part of the plan.
“We are at the end of a journey of testing,” Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s VP of product told WSJ. “We are going out effectively as planned. Our goal was largely to get a wide breadth of content and experiment and test.”
Rajaraman says Spotify has learned a lot from its testing, noting that that presenting contextually relevant videos—based on the kind of music people listen to or Web videos that are simply tied to music—spur people to watch clips.
The company also learned they were offering too many ways for users to find video, so they have compartmentalized their content and creative programming packages.
Spotify has a user base that is 75 million strong globally, with 20 million subscribers. Most of those users use it to listen to music, and often in the background while performing other tasks. Rajaraman admitted that getting users to watch video on Spotify may require some consumer training.
“Obviously our primary user is a music fan, and they are not necessarily leaning in and looking into the app,” he said. “So there are no particular recipes for how to get this right.”
Spotify is relying on its content partners – including ABC, Condé Nast Entertainment, Turner’s Adult Swim, TBS and Fusion – to create custom content for the service. While the service is paying its partners for the content, it isn’t viewing the service as a moneymaking opportunity, at least not at first. Spotify will not be including advertising in the app, but will use the content to increase the time users spend with the app. However, Chief Executive Daniel Ek did say last year that video ads would eventually be “an important revenue source.”