Spotify introduces video, radio service

By BARBARA ORTUTAY
AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – While saying that it still a music company at heart, Spotify says it is expanding is lineup to include podcasts, news radio and video streaming.

The company says it wants to help people create a soundtrack for their day that includes not only music but videos, newscasts and other content.

CEO Daniel Ek said that the new service launches Wednesday in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden.

Spotify offers free streaming music and also a premium service for a monthly fee that includes extra features. The company didn’t say it is changing its cost structure.

Spotify enters a competitive market for video streaming that is dominated by Netflix, Amazon.com, and Hulu, but it’s getting more crowded of late with the arrival of companies like HBO.

Spotify’s service is a “logical extension of the company’s success in digital music streaming, since these are complementary businesses that use much of the same technology infrastructure, marketing expertise, and vendor relationships,” said Paul Verna, senior analyst at research firm eMarketer.

Verna said the maneuver suggests that Spotify “sees a business opportunity in digital video advertising, which is a much larger and faster-growing sector than Spotify’s core business of digital music.”

EMarketer estimates that spending on U.S. digital video ads will total $7.77 billion in 2015, up from $5.81 billion in 2014.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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