Spotify, one of the world’s most popular providers of streaming music, is rumored to be preparing to launch a video-focused service that would compete directly with Netflix, and could also take on premium services such as HBO Go.
The rumor, reported by Business Insider, speculates that Spotify would produce its own original content, just as Netflix has done this year with its original series House of Cards and the re-launch of Arrested Development.
Spotify’s current music-only model is advertising supported, although some users do pay $4.99 a month for an ad-free experience on Spotify, or $9.99 a month for access to Spotify’s mobile apps which allow users to download music onto their smartphone or tablet devices.
It’s likely that a Spotify-branded video service would require a subscription fee just like Netflix and HBO Go require. It’s unknown, according to Business Insider, whether Spotify would license video content or would purely produce its own, although, exclusively producing its own content could be prohibitively expensive (Business Insider notes that that the Netflix series House of Cards cost $5 million an episode to produce.)
Between Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, YouTube, Cracked, Blip.tv, and a number of other streaming original content streaming services, it might be difficult for Spotify to break through the clutter and become a leader in the streaming market, but given its prime position in the music realm, it might be able to leverage its existing user base to get a leg up on its video streaming competitors.