Spotify adds to capacity crunch with streaming video service

Music streaming company Spotify has announced the addition of video clips to its service, which has the potential to add significantly to the exponential growth in mobile data consumption.

Spotify is currently the leading music streaming service, with the majority of that consumption taking place on mobile devices. While this will already represent a sizable contribution to mobile data traffic, the addition of video to a user-base already accustomed to regularly streaming content on their devices is likely to take data consumption to a new level.

The initial content partner list is quite extensive and mainly US-based, although the BBC is on the list. There is TV content such as chat shows, sport and music videos as well as some original content such as celebs picking their favourite music.

“We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience,” said Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout your day. And we’re just getting started.”

Simon Jones, VP of Marketing at internet video delivery outfit Conviva, reckons Spotify might be on to something, so long as it can get the bandwidth it needs. “Consumers, increasingly drawn to the transactional and self-guided nature of video on demand are expanding their use of web-delivered video, and making choices for premium entertainment beyond the set top box,” he said.

“A premium service, of course, requires a premium experience – consumers engage most when they are served an optimized experience, and then disengage when they are dissatisfied. So it’s a calculated risk for Spotify: with excellent content, delivered smoothly, they can capitalize on the global shift to net TV; missing on the quality of experience on video – which they have aced with audio – could represent a challenge to their otherwise pristine brand image.”

Meanwhile BT’s drive into the content space continues with the announcement of a deal with HBO to offer streaming and download-to-own sets of some of its most popular programming such as Game of Thrones, which can also be streamed through mobile devices.

“We are committed to offering the widest choice of on demand and live content, with pricing and flexibility to suit all our customers,” said Alex Green, director of BT TV. “The new deal with HBO comes at the perfect time for people who want to catch up with world-class TV shows over the long Bank Holiday weekend. But of course you get to keep them so you can watch over and over again.”

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