The music streaming space is adding new competitors at pretty quick rate. Seemingly every Web property out there, from Twitter to Google to Apple, wants a piece of the pie. So what is an established service like Spotify to do to stay ahead of these up and comers?
Offer as much exclusive content as it possibly can.
And it is in that vein that Spotify has launched a new app devoted exclusively to comedy, it was announced Monday.
The new app, which is called The Official Comedy app, will offer a library of stand-up comedy content, including performances such as Jerry Seinfeld's "I'm Telling You For The Last Time," Aziz Ansari's "Dangerously Delicious," along with material from other big name comics like Louis CK, Mike Birbiglia, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Ross.
The app is the result of a collaboration between Spotify and Official Comedy, a division of Bedrocket Media Ventures. Official Comedy was created in 2012 as a YouTube partner, and it includes original programming and parody videos, including web series, sketches, pranks, animation and standup.
Official Comedy will be both curating and editing the app. Users can browse material based by themes, such as “Funny Now”, by the performer or by playlist.
Sample playlists put together by Official Comedy include: "Who Doesn't Love A Good Sex Scandal?", "We've All Got Royal Baby Fever!", "We Go Together Like Booze And Pills", "We All Have Some Family Members We'd Like To Hide", "It's All About the Benjamins! Wait, Is It Hamilton?", "Why Is This Freaking Dog Humping My Leg?", "Hollywood's Dirty Little Secrets" and "Somehow We Make The Environment Funny."
New comedians and playlists are set to be added to the app on a regular basis. Right now the full list of comedians available at launch includes George Carlin, Margaret Cho, Billy Connolly, Bill Cosby, Ellen DeGeneres, Mitch Hedberg, Artie Lange, Steve Martin, T.J. Miller, John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt, Monty Python, Chris Rock, Joe Rogan, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins and Daniel Tosh, among numerous others.
Staying ahead of the pack
Spotify is definitely one of the most popular music streaming services, but there are many other out trying to take it down.
In September of 2012, Nokia launched a free music streaming service available for customers who own a Lumia handset. Users are encouraged make their own playlists, using the Create feature, which will give them access to millions of songs in Nokia’s MP3 store. When a user chooses an artist or a song, The Echo Nest builds a station around that artist, generating a playlist.
Then, in October, Microsoft unveiled Xbox Music, which was launched first on the Xbox console, then onto Windows 8 when it debuted on October 26.
Like Spotify, Xbox Music offers free on demand streaming access to its 30-million catalog of songs in the Xbox Music Store, where users can buy single tracks or entire albums.
Meanwhile, Pandora recently hit 200 million users, doubling its userbase in two years.
Spotify has more than 24 million active users and over six million paid subscribers. The service launched in eight new markets in April, including Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland, bringing the platform’s total to 28 markets altogether.
The company has more than 24 million active users and over six million paid subscribers. Spotify says it’s driven more than $500 million to rights holders and expects to drive another $500 million in 2013.
Since its launch in 2008, the company has raised nearly $300 million in funding, including $100 million Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Russian investment firm DST Global in 2011, and another $100 million from Goldman Sachs in November 2012. Spotify was last valued at $3 billion.
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