Spotify Offering Educational Video Courses to U.K. Users in Latest Test

Spotify has launched a new experiment, offering educational video courses to its U.K. users on subjects including music making, creativity, business and healthy living. The new courses show that Spotify is hoping to expand its reach beyond music, podcasts and audiobooks into a new fourth vertical, but the launch is still in the testing phase.

The videos are provided through partnerships with BBC Maestro, Skillshare, Thinkific and PlayVirtuoso and are available on Spotify’s desktop and mobile apps. They can be found by clicking a new ovular icon at the top of the screen. Two lessons in each course are freely available to both free and premium subscribers, but to access a full course, users must leave the app and purchase additional lessons on a dedicated web page to continue. Spotify will receive a commission on whatever is sold through its platform, according to The Verge.

“Testing video courses in the U.K. allows us to explore an exciting opportunity to better serve the needs of our users who have an active interest in learning,” said Babar Zafar, vp of product development at Spotify, in a blog post announcing the test. “Many of our users engage with podcasts and audiobooks on a daily basis for their learning needs, and we believe this highly engaged community will be interested in accessing and purchasing quality content from video course creators. At Spotify, we’re constantly striving to create new offerings for our creators and users, and having built best-in-class personalized music and podcast offerings, we look forward to exploring the potential of video-based learning on Spotify.”

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The post notes that roughly half of Spotify premium subscribers have engaged with education or self-help-themed podcasts.  

Spotify did not immediately return Billboard’s request for more information on whether it’s planning to expand the test to other markets, including the United States.

Daniel Ek, CEO/founder of Spotify, hinted at the company’s interest in expanding into education nearly two years ago during his Spotify Investor Day presentation held on June 8, 2022. “We will firmly cement Spotify as the home for some of the greatest artists and creators and educators in the world,” he said at the time. “I’m not aware of any other company has been successful in taking a multi-business model and multi-vertical approach within one user experience.”

This U.K. test proves that Spotify is still searching for profitability and keen to expand its user base beyond what music streaming can provide. According to MIDiA Research, growth in music streaming subscriptions is expected to slow from double- to single-digits in the coming decade as the market reaches maturity. Plus, the margins made from music streaming continue to be tight.

Alex Noström, Spotify’s co-president/chief business officer, has also hinted at the company’s educational focus in the past, saying at the 2022 investor day presentation: “In the next 10 years, there are additional markets and verticals that we believe are natural fits for our platform and audience…There’s news, sports and education. Those are vast markets [that] we can imagine Spotify playing in… [All] are big consumer markets, sometimes much bigger than music… We have an opportunity to consolidate user’s habits and purchases to Spotify and also expand the pie allowing broader and more convenient access to these new content carrier categories.”

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