Spotify shakes up video ambitions and cancels TV series

Spotify is to undertake the third reboot of its video strategy in as many years, as it attempts to generate original content that will diversify its revenue streams away from recorded music with costly royalties.

According to Bloomberg, which cites people with knowledge of the matter, the company is cancelling the original video series that are streamed on its platform, as well as abandoning plans for shows it has yet to release. Courtney Holt, the new head of video and podcasts at the firm, will be exploring the creation of a new unique format for video that Spotify can pursue.

Spotify has been exploring video for several years now, but has yet to settle on a sustainable model. While it holds the position of the worlds largest online music service, royalties and distribution costs for this music generate expenses of over 80 per cent of its revenues. Original video content would enable it to engage users and generate ad revenues without incurring these fees.

In the past, the company has licensed video from Vice, Walt Disney and Viacom, and created more than a dozen original video series with producers including Russell Simmons. However, its video content has often been poorly promoted, with few consumers aware that it existed, or where within the app it could be found.

The new format created by Holt, who has worked at record labels and major media companies, as well as in online video, will combine audio, video and images. Currently codenamed Spotlight, its unclear how much Spotify is investing in the project or when consumers can expect to see the first example of the format.