Business News Digital

New video strategy at Spotify following Tom Calderone’s departure

By | Published on Monday 4 September 2017


Remember that Spotify series that put a rapper and a producer in a van together during the LA rush hour and demanded they collaborate on a track to play to a bunch of fans waiting at the van’s destination?

No, me neither. But don’t try too hard trying to remember Spotify’s original video series ‘Traffic Jams’, because it seems the streaming firm has now abandoned its ambitions to be a short-from telly show maker on the side.

Or at least that’s what people are assuming following the departure of the company’s Head Of Original Video, Tom Calderone, last week. Spotify isn’t giving up on video entirely, but comments from its spokesperson following Calderone’s departure implies future video content will be built around the most successful playlists on the streaming platform, and will probably be more closely linked to new music releases. Which will please the labels.

Although its biggest competitor in terms of users is a video platform – ie YouTube – it’s never been entirely clear how video fits into the Spotify ecosystem, given it’s an app most people have playing primarily in the background.

That said, when it comes to the ad-funded side of the Spotify business, big brands will often add an extra zero to a budget when they can see rather than just hear the content their marketing dollars are funding. Nevertheless, despite projects like ‘Traffic Jams’, it’s never felt that Spotify is particularly pushing its video content to the fore.

Former VH1 exec Calderone also had podcasts under his remit, and it is thought they remain a priority for Spotify. Podcasts, of course, fit in much better with the radio-style lean-back experience most people want from the streaming platform.

We know for certain that Spotify’s podcast selection will be boosted once again later this month when the mighty CMU Podcast returns – which is the main reason I can think of for clicking on the podcasts button within the streaming service.