Spotify going Netflix route with original shows

As Amazon looks to lure YouTube content creators to its service...

Spotify going Netflix route with original shows

Andrew Matthews / PA

Not content with offering its users over 30 million songs from artists around the world, Spotify wants to become a content creator in its own right.

Having announced its intentions to move into video programming last year in an effort to become "more personal and more usable", the company has now unveiled the first details of what it has in store.

While it previously offered short clips from the likes of Comedy Central and ESPN, the streaming service is producing 12 full, TV-style shows.

Tim Robbins is set to produce Ultimate/Ultimate, a mockumentary series "following several passionate (but modestly talented) people competing in a competition to become the next great EDM star".

Russell Simmon's All-Def Digital company will be behind Rush Hour, which will bring two hip-hop artists (one legend, one up-and-comer) together to remix or mashup their well-known tracks before performing their collaborations in front of superfans.

Another show, Landmark, will trace important moments and movements in music history, with exclusive interviews, archival footage and multi-media elements. A true crime series, anthology series on enigmatic artists and more are also in the works.

Comedy and animation series should follow to target a younger audience in the near future.

The shows will initially be available in the UK, US, Germany and Sweden and be available on iOs and Android.

Tom Calderone, head of content partnerships for Spotify, said:

"We are developing original content that is rooted in music, pop culture, and animation that is driven by the passion and sense of humor of our audience.

Calderone sees video as a "second act" for the service.

Not that their traditional model has particularly been struggling. Jonathan Forster, vice president of Spotify, told Reuters this week that the company's growth has actually accelerated since the June 2015 launch of rival Apple Music.

He said:

"It's great that Apple is in the game. They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own".

Sticking with all things video, Amazon is preparing to take on YouTube at its own game.

Its new self-serve platform Amazon Video Direct will allow people to distribute their creations directly on the platform.

Amazon is hoping to attract YouTube networks and creators who are searching for new revenue streams away from the Google company; YouTube currently takes a 45% cut from ad revenue generated on the platform.

Amazon are offering the same deal if content is made available for free. However, on its subscriptions side, content providers will receive 15 cents per hour streamed in the US and six cents per hour in other countries.

All revenue made from sales and purchases will be evenly split.