Last May, Spotify announced -- along with several other new features -- that it would be moving into the world of bite-sized video as a way to broaden its platform's appeal and offer users a new way of considering the service. As the year shifted from spring to summer, fall to winter, those snack-sized videos never appeared, leaving many wondering what exactly happened to the promising new "vertical" within the world's largest on-demand music service.
Spotify was simply taking a page from Google's book, putting the new gambit through the paces of extended beta test. The video features are now set to launch this week for those on Android phones, followed closely by iOS next week. Speaking to Billboard from Iceland, Spotify's vp of product Shiva Rajaraman says his team has been "slowly testing different variants" of the video feature, "to get a sense of how we can program and present this, and how core it will be to our experience." Rajaraman says slivers of the company's audience were selected as beta testers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden (the video feature's four launch countries). The news was first reported this morning (Jan. 25) by the Wall Street Journal.