Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek says despite expanding into other areas, his firm is still focused on music / Reuters

The service has announced a major expansion into podcasts and non-music videos, such as news bulletins, travel and food programmes

Spotify will offer users comedy videos and news clips from the BBC as the music‑streaming platform launches a range of new entertainment content in a bid to fend off rival ventures from Apple and YouTube.

At a news conference in New York, the service, which has more than 60 million regular users across 58 countries, announced a major expansion into podcasts and non-music videos, such as news bulletins, travel and food programmes.

Spotify also unveiled a more personalised music service that includes a new running mode, which matches music to the pace of a subscriber’s physical activity based on feedback from their smartphone’s built-in sensors.

The music-streaming service, which boasts 15 million paid subscribers but has been criticised by some artists for the rates it pays for their music, is facing fresh competition.

Apple is to unveil a new subscription streaming service using content and technology acquired from its $3bn (£1.9) deal for Beats Electronics. YouTube is also testing a subscription video service while Jay-Z has signed big-name stars to Tidal, his high-fidelity music service.

In the biggest upgrade since its launch in 2008, Spotify promised users “an expanded world of entertainment built around you”. Video clips and audio shows will be added to the music mix because “we know there are times in the day you want to switch between music to catch up on the latest news, listen to your favourite podcast or simply watch something fun. Spotify will suggest video and audio shows for you to watch and learn what you love.”

 

Spotify’s content partners include the BBC, the science-tech talks organiser TED, Disney, Vice Media and the weekly comedy podcast The Nerdist. The comedy star Amy Poehler will provide clips from her Smart Girls video channel.

A show called Turntable brings “chefs and musicians together for an intimate performance and meal”. Users will be able to listen to around 50 speech-only podcasts from BBC stations.

The company also announced Spotify Now, a service that will create personalised music playlists for listeners, based on their age, location and previous listening choices, with songs matched to particular activities such as showering or commuting. It echoes a free app, Songza, acquired by Google, which already offers playlists tailored to listeners.

The new Spotify Running experience, which matches the tempo of a DJ-curated selection of tracks to a person’s acceleration, can be accessed through the Nike+ app.

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s founder and chief executive, said: “We’re a tech company, but we’re a music company at heart. We’re obsessed with integrating music into people’s lives. We’ve made it easier to soundtrack your day. We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience.”

The streaming entertainment rivals

Spotify

Not just unlimited, ad-free music streams for £9.99 a month. Now offers video content, playlists designed for different parts of a user’s day, and improved recommendations.

Apple

Beats streaming service to be relaunched within weeks using content and technology acquired under $3bn (£1.9bn) deal. It’s rumoured that Beats could cost $7.99 a month in the US, undercutting Spotify.

YouTube

YouTube Music Key offers full streaming access for £9.99 a month. A subscription service is planned that will allow advertisements to be skipped.

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