Spotify begins rolling out music videos feature

While it appeared Spotify had laid its hat on short-form video, the music service will now begin to roll out full music videos on the app across the coming months.

Thred Media
3 min readMar 13, 2024

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Is this the beginning of the end for the looping Canvas videos everyone disables to save their battery life?

In a surprising pivot towards long-form video content, Spotify has rolled out an in-app feature that will allow users to watch full music videos. The beta is currently live in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Colombia, Poland, the Philippines, and Sweden.

If your device has the update already, you’ll notice a ‘switch to video’ prompt pinned in the full-screen mode of a song alongside the album artwork, short-form video loop, lyrics, and artist information.

When selected, Spotify will open the music video using its own interface — not an embed from YouTube, Vevo, or anywhere else — meaning the streaming app is now directly going against established long-form platforms and search engines for views and engagement.

Currently, however, only a handful of major artists have music videos available to view on Spotify and the furthest back they seem to date is 2023. You’ll still have to go to YouTube to view that niche indie artist with 2,000 monthly listeners, but if you’re into Dua Lipa then have at it.

You can check an artist’s page to see if they have music videos available to watch by scrolling down to a new ‘related music videos’ carousel between ‘Discovered on’ and ‘About’. There’s also a share link option, which Spotify hopes will provide new pull for the service.

While rival music streaming platforms like Tidal and Apple Music have featured music videos as a staple, Spotify has caught us somewhat off-guard with its decision to follow suit.

It seemed as though the company was beginning to focus on short-form visual content last year, no doubt to appease the Gen Z market and its love for fleeting, TikTok-esque video-bites.

It now appears as though, much like ‘Shorts’ on YouTube, its indefinite short-form feed will live alongside the longer-form videos within the app. It’s likely part of a multi-pronged plan to retain core users while muscling in on the popularity enjoyed by TikTok and Reels.

Following several significant updates to the UI and added features in recent years, though, a portion of subscribers and artists were already frustrated at Spotify becoming oversaturated with unnecessary content. The core experience is supposed to be listening, after all.

The streaming service also constantly gets it in the neck for being ‘anti-artist’ and paying outrageously low rates for huge streaming figures. Well, the numbers for music video views are reportedly going to be separate from audio, but whether this will be a boon financially for musicians is yet to be clarified.

While we hope this is the case, we’d hedge our bets that Spotify’s primary motivations are gaining a slice of the long-form video pie while offering up ‘more to do’ for premium users paying £10.99 a month.

Two birds, one stone.

Originally written by Jamie Watts for Thred.

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