Spotify gets into online learning

Spotify is testing the waters with online learning, launching video-based courses on the audio streaming platform today.

Spotify’s video courses are currently only available in the UK and are the result of partnerships with education platforms including Skillshare, BBC Maestro, PLAYvirtuoso and Thinkific. The courses cover four areas of learning, which Spotify describes as “Making Music, Being Creative, Learning Business, and Living Healthy.”

Most of the courses Spotify offers are music-related, including music recording and production, songwriting, DJing, radio broadcasting, and genre-specific courses including rap, grime, garage, drum and bass, house music, and electronic music. But there are also courses on a wider range of topics, including start-ups and business, cooking, money, dance, fitness, mindfulness, video production and art techniques from watercolor to photography and graphic design.

Screenshot of Spotify recording and production course.

Most of Spotify’s courses are music-focused.
Image source: Spotify / Mashable screenshot

Premium subscribers and free Spotify users will get two lessons per course for free, but must purchase the rest – similar to Spotify’s audiobook offering, where premium users get 15 hours of free listening per month, after which you can purchase additional credit. Spotify’s video lessons will be located on the homepage and browse tabs of the app, or you can also find them on a dedicated page on the platform.

See also:

Uh, YouTube? Spotify just added full music videos

It’s a bold but not surprising move for Spotify, which has previously invested heavily in podcasts and audiobooks (although Spotify cut its podcasting workforce last year). In a blog post announcing the feature, Spotify claimed that “approximately half of Spotify Premium subscribers have participated in an educational or self-help themed podcast.” Spotify will have a hard time doing this, however, because the online learning space is already established and crowded—from edX to FutureLearn, Coursera to Khan Academy, online courses are big business.

Screenshot of Spotify making rap and grime music lessons.

Offer specific types of courses.
Image source: Spotify / Mashable screenshot

Babar Zafar, vice president of product development at Spotify, said in a press statement: “Testing video lessons in the UK allows us to explore an exciting opportunity to better meet the needs of users with an active interest in learning.”

“Many of our users engage with podcasts and audiobooks on a daily basis to meet their learning needs, and we believe this highly engaged community will be interested in accessing and purchasing premium content from video course creators. At Spotify, we continually strive to empower creative We’ve created new products for authors and users and built best-in-class personalized music and podcast products, and we look forward to exploring the potential of video-based learning on Spotify.”

It’s the latest feature to be tested by Spotify in the UK, as the company aims to take a piece of the YouTube pie by adding full-length music videos.This feature is only available in 11 countries/regions including the UK, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Colombia, Poland, Philippines, and Sweden, and is not yet planned to be rolled out in other markets including the United States

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