While it’s been clear for months that YouTube is gunning for industry leader Spotify with its upcoming music streaming platform YouTube Music Key, it seems that Spotify is finally taking the steps to protect itself. The streaming service is adding video ads to the feeds of users who don’t pay $9.99 per month for a subscription as a way to generate more revenue. YouTube seems to be borrowing a lot of Spotify’s best ideas for its new music product so it’s only fair that Spotify fight back by borrowing a few weapons from YouTube’s arsenal, but if it were up to us, we wouldn’t necessarily start with video ads.
To be fair, the video ads are a winning proposition for Spotify at the moment: the ads will generate more money from advertisers wanting to catch the attention of Spotify’s non-subscription users. If the ads become too annoying, Spotify surely hopes that some of those users will opt to buy in to a subscription in order to make them stop. Of course, right now, Spotify has the advantage of being the streaming service with the largest music library meaning that users are unlikely to abandon ship even if video ads do start to grate on their nerves, but what happens when YouTube finally rolls out its streaming service?
It’s too soon to tell, but it’s definitely possible that once Spotify has all its video tools in place it could make the leap into music videos. That’s one play from the YouTube playbook that we would definitely recommend stealing. As we’ve previously discussed, YouTube’s two biggest advantages in the streaming music game are its vast library of fan content and access to official music videos. Users may listen to hours of music every day on Spotify, but at present they turn to YouTube to get a look at their favorite artists latest video or to get nostalgic with some classics. Rolling out the ability to stream music videos could definitely help Spotify to prevent its users from migrating to YouTube for every new release.