Spotify Now dips into podcasts, videos and curated playlists

21 May 2015

Spotify have announced a raft of new updates for the music streaming service by moving away from its origins and expanding into other media including podcasts and video.

Describing its latest efforts as being ‘on a mission’, the Swedish-based company made the announcement at a large press gathering with a particular emphasis on users who are also into fitness.

According to the company’s news release, Spotify Running is effectively a playlist curated by the user’s tastes and previous listening history, but it has also added a feature whereby the playlist will change depending on the person’s running tempo.

The company has also formed a partnership with sportswear giants Nike, which will offer Spotify through its own digital services including its Nike+ app.

Moving away from fitness, Spotify are now changing the frontpage of the app and desktop version called Now, which follows the example of Google Play Music by curating playlists based off the time of day, such as Mellow Moods for a tired Monday morning in work.

Podcasts too make an entrance with plans to intertwine the spoken-word medium and music.

Video enters the fray

Perhaps most interesting is Spotify’s entry into video for the first time, which will be again placed in between songs to break up the playlist.

However, rather than just play music videos, the company has also signed deals with TV companies to show clips from entertainment shows on channels including ABC, Adult Swim, BBC and Comedy Central, among others.

“We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience,” said Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout your day. And we’re just getting started.”

The new features have begun rolling out to iPhone users in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden – with more markets and platforms to follow in the near future, according to the company, while Spotify Running has started rolling out to iPhone users only now.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic