From www.engadget.com

Sarah Fielding

Spotify is officially expanding its offerings beyond just audio with the introduction of music videos. The streamer is rolling out a beta program that offers premium subscribers access to music videos on mobile, desktop and TV for a select number of tracks by artists like Ed Sheeran and Ice Spice.

In an email seen by TechCrunch, Sten Garmark, Spotify vice president and global head of consumer experience said: “We’re starting with a limited subset of the full catalog, which includes thousands of music videos. Within this subset, we aimed to prioritize a wide range of genres and artists across our launch markets.” YouTube (of course) and Apple Music both already offer music videos, so this new feature helps Spotify match up to some of its biggest competitors.

To watch a music video, Spotify users listening to a song can click “switch to video” right on the now-playing screen. The music video will always start the song back from the beginning, but users can touch switch back to audio at any point. Even if the music video plays through, Spotify will still queue the next song as audio only.

Currently, the beta option is only available in 11 countries, chosen for a “number of criteria including market size and the availability of local content support,” Garmark said. While the US didn’t make the cut, the countries included represent quite a global audience: Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Poland, Philippines, Sweden and the UK. Users from these nations must also have a premium account to watch music videos.

Rumors that Spotify might add music videos started last July following a number of layoffs (and more have come since). This announcement is the first time Spotify has announced the existence of music videos on its platform. However, a Reddit user posted three months back that they had the “switch to video” option on a single song: My Way, by Limp Bizkit.

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The post Spotify adds music videos in 11 countries, but not the US first appeared on www.engadget.com

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