Spotify, the world’s largest paid music service, will begin offering news and political coverage to lure listeners away from radio and podcasts from rival Apple Inc.
Eight companies, including BuzzFeed and Refinery29, have agreed to produce programming for the new initiative, called Spotlight. One of the first shows will be a four- to seven-minute daily newscast featuring reporting from BuzzFeed journalists across the globe. Spotlight will only be available to customers in the U.S. at first.
News programming can help Spotify capture some of the US$18 billion spent on radio advertising each year and boost profitability as it prepares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. While the company almost singlehandedly reversed the record industry’s long decline, it has been unable to turn a profit due to the high cost of music rights.