Spotify to start offering videos

(Reuters) - Streaming music service Spotify will soon provide video content from musicians, news organizations and TV networks in a bid to sign up more subscribers, the company said on Wednesday.

A new recommendation function, similar to what rival Pandora Media Inc offers, will let people pick channels based on lifestyle activities, like “songs to sing to in the shower,” or “100 plus hits form the 1980s,” the Stockholm-based company said.

In a splashy event in New York, Spotify founder and Chief Executive Daniel Ek highlighted the discovery nature of the revamped platform that he said will deliver more relevant music and content to Spotify users.

“There is a profound change happening in music we couldn’t have foreseen,” he said, noting how more people listen to music on smartphones.

Spotify struck a myriad of partnerships with news organizations like the BBC, Vice, Walt Disney Co’s ABC, podcasts from Slate, and short program clips from Turner Broadcasting “Conan” and Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed hit, “Broad City.”

“I love getting dozens of emails from Spotify,” quipped Ilana Glazer, the creator and star of “Broad City,” who was part of the program.

Spotify said it will also develop original content and video dedicated for its users. It had 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users as of the end of 2014.

But competition, not only from streaming music companies including Apple Inc’s Beats, is intensifying when other platforms such as Snapchat are thrown into the mix. Snapchat, which is surging in popularity, earlier this year introduced Discover, which helps people find interesting content.

During the roughly hour-long presentation Spotify did not address any revenue opportunities with its new content partners. The bulk of Spotify’s revenue comes from subscriptions.

Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Richard Chang