Spotify expands video into original programming, setting up battle with Apple Music

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Music streaming service Spotify on Monday announced plans for 12 new original video series, in a move which could further intensify competition with second-place rival Apple Music.

Episodes of each show will stay under 15 minutes in length, and be available to both free and Premium subscribers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden, Bloomberg reported. One of the series is Landmark, which will tell the story of important moments in music history. Two episodes shot so far cover Metallica and the famous Beach Boys album Pet Sounds.

Each edition of Rush Hour will see two hip-hop acts collaborate on music they then have to perform live. Meanwhile, an as-yet unnamed mockumentary produced by actor/director Tim Robbins will parody music talent competitions.

A second phase of shows, coming later, will see Spotify branch into original comedy and animation. Negotiations are reportedly set to begin with the next few weeks.

Spotify has already had video for about a year, but only from outside sources like Comedy Central and the BBC. The material is also viewable only in the service's mobile apps, rather than on the Web or through Mac and Windows clients.

Apple has so far only dabbled in hosting shows on Apple Music, but is known to be working on a series featuring one of its own executives, Beats co-founder Dr. Dre. That show may break with Apple's normally sanitized public image by containing both sexual and violent content.