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Music Streaming, Music Videos, Podcasts & Now Online Courses? Here’s All About Spotify’s Next Move!

Music Streaming, Music Videos, Podcasts & Now Online Courses? Here’s All About Spotify’s Next Move!
Did you ever imagine that Spotify would too get into educational content? What about it has fascinated the streaming giant? Spotify is testing a new feature called ‘Courses’ in the UK. Be it courses on music production, starting your own business, or even as simple as learning to use excel, Spotify plans on partnering with educational content providers, engaging and exploring new revenue streams. Starting off with the UK, this venture leverages Spotify’s existing strengths in podcasting and creator empowerment, and complements their exploration of video content. Read further to know more

At first glance, Spotify venturing into education might seem like a stretch. But there’s a strong connection. Their popular podcasting platform is loaded with educational content, with nearly half of premium subscribers tuning in to self-improvement or learning podcasts. These courses build on that strength and empower creators by offering skills like business management or music production. Finally, this taps into Spotify’s ongoing exploration of video content. While they haven’t challenged YouTube’s dominance yet, this is a significant step towards becoming a more comprehensive platform.

Spotify, the audio giant with over 600 million users, is dipping its toes into a new pool: e-learning. They’re starting small with a pilot program in the UK called “Courses.” This program offers video lessons on various topics, with a freemium model. Partnering with educational heavyweights like the BBC and Skillshare, Spotify provides at least two free lessons per course, with full courses ranging from £20 to £80 on average. Interestingly, the price isn’t affected by whether you’re a free or premium subscriber (for now). This rollout seems to be a testing ground for pricing strategies before a wider release.

Mohit Jitani, the London based Product Director for the Educational Business says “With this launch, we’re trying to understand the demand first,” he said. “Then we optimize how we can make it more compelling and exciting.” The content will live in both Spotify’s home and browse tabs (under Courses), and it’s accessible on the web as well as via the Spotify mobile app.

Unlike YouTube’s free-for-all or platforms like MasterClass and LinkedIn Learning with a specific focus, Spotify’s courses aim to strike a balance. They offer on-demand video lessons on a wide range of topics, from music production to mastering Excel. Interestingly, there’s even a course to teach you how to create your own online lessons, turning musicians and others into “education creators” themselves.

With the online learning market exceeding $315 billion in 2023, competition is fierce. Many platforms offer interactive content and diverse media formats. Some startups even dream of becoming the “Spotify of education.” However, Spotify’s approach is different. For now, their courses focus solely on one-way, on-demand videos, with some potentially including additional documents but lacking interactive elements like tests. Jitani declined to comment on whether Spotify would launch any kind of interaction or gamification in future — or, indeed, if games of any kind are on its roadmap right now.

The first partners for courses are Skillshare (which will focus on creatives), PLAYvirtuoso (music industry courses), BBC Maestro (Master Class-esque), and Thinkific (for those inspired to build their skills into online learning classes of their own). While these or other third party creators and publishers own the videos, you’ll buy and watch them directly on Spotify. Everyone gets a cut of the sales, but details are still under wraps. For now, there’s no word on discounts for premium users.

Jitani believes that Spotify would be looking to curate what courses it offers, and it will base curation on what people are already listening to and searching for on its platform. “We’ll learn a lot about what people are actually interested in [and] we will start getting a lot of segments around that,” Jitani said. “And then we’ll go and find the best content.”

Spotify’s new education venture signals a strategic shift towards diversification and profitability. The UK rollout targets a large and engaged user base, aiming to capture a slice of the booming online learning market (valued at over $315 billion in 2023).

This move might seem surprising, but it leverages Spotify’s existing strengths. Half of their premium users already engage with educational, self help and growth centric podcasts. Using that data, Spotify could potentially boost their sales by recommending self motivation related courses/content through a call to action via podcasts. Additionally, the company already invests in creator tools. Educational content on topics like business management directly supports that goal.

Finally, this aligns with Spotify’s exploration of video content. Spotify’s been trying to get deeper into video for the better part of a decade. While not yet a YouTube competitor, they recently launched music videos and are now diving into educational videos. With CEO Daniel Ek vaguely describing video podcasting as “growing in a healthy way”, these multi-pronged approaches could help Spotify carve out a unique niche in the online learning space.

All information sourced from various sources purely for factual reporting purpose only
Image courtesy: Spotify

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