Spotify

Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on Jan. 6, 2017 in Paris.

Chesnot/Getty Images

On Thursday (Jan. 18), Spotify announced the launch of a new multimedia format called Spotlight that will introduce visual layers -- such as photos, video and text -- to supplement listening experiences for podcasts, audiobooks, news and other audio content.

Eight different partners are already on board with this initiative and have agreed to produce programming for Spotify, including BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted. 

"It feels like a generation ago that MTV News delivered the latest to a whole generation of music fans, but it's not hard to imagine BuzzFeed News and Spotify doing the same in 2018," said BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith in a statement. "We're incredibly excited to bring together our award-winning audio team, world-class journalism, and Spotify's massive, dynamic platform to get listeners up to speed every morning. I can't wait to see this project get off the ground next week and grow along with the future of news."

 

With 70 million users, Spotify is the world's largest largest music streaming service and this new programming can be seen as an effort to differentiate itself from competitors such as Apple Music. With this expansion into visual content, Spotify also furthers its current competition with YouTube as well.