A year into licensing video content from places like the BBC and Comedy Central, Spotify has announced it will launch its own original video programming with 12 new series.

The streaming platform will introduce 15-minute long shows that will be available for both free and paid subscribers in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden.

Actor Tim Robbins will be producing a mockumentary-style series modeled after a show like America’s Next Dance Crew, while another series called Landmark will document significant moments in music history. Episodes about the Beach Boys and Metallica have already been produced.

Animated show Drawn and Recorded is another series that will focus on music history, and will be narrated by T-Bone Burnett. Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons is also on board to produce Rush Hour, in which “two hip-hop acts are driven to an undisclosed location to conceive a musical collaboration that they must perform before a crowd.”

Speaking to Bloomberg Business, Tom Calderone, Spotify’s content partnerships chief said: “Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us…We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they can come here for something other than playlists.”

Spotify’s current competitors in the music streaming sphere already have robust video trajectories. YouTube Red has launched its own original series and has catalogued many artists’ visual output with Vevo for years, while Apple Music has its own capability to host music videos.

Apple Music’s original content extends to documentaries, like Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour doc, and there are rumors it will launch more Netflix-like content, including a drama series in collaboration with Dr. Dre. Tidal has cornered its own market on exclusive concert broadcasts, including Kanye’s Yeezy Season 3.



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