Is Spotify Working On an On-Demand Video Service to Rival Netflix?

By Devon Glenn 

Netflix and cable networks like HBO might face competition from the digital music streaming service Spotify. Business Insider reports that Spotify is looking for investors to fund original content. What’s not clear from the report is why the company would go after Netflix instead of creating its own record label or music videos.

Spotify does share a few things in common with Netflix: the social music service relies on licensing deals with publishers to stock its growing library of more than 20 million songs. Neflix, a video streaming and DVD rental service, has a similar arrangement with networks and film companies for television shows and movies. Both have subscription-based business models.

Netflix has started creating original shows like “House of Cards” to combat the cable networks that are unwilling to share their content. HBO went so far as to sign an exclusive, 10-year deal with Universal Pictures to keep films from Universal and Focus Features on its own platforms and away from Netflix.

Netflix also connected with Facebook to add friend recommendations to its star-ratings system for video discovery, similar to what Spotify has always done for music.

But there are other developments brewing, specifically in the music industry.

Music video platform VEVO is working on its own music channel that would actually rival MTV or VH1 in the sense that it will show videos and other music-related shows in designated time slots. These would be available for viewing on mobile devices and on television sets through gaming consoles.

YouTube is also rumored to be working on a subscription music service to compete with Spotify’s.

Whether Spotify is branching out beyond music or simply adding a few new services to its playlist to keep up with YouTube and VEVO remains to be seen. Said a Spotify spokesperson, “We’re not commenting on these rumors.”

Image by Peter Bernik.