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'New Spotify' Adds Video, Podcasts and Songs to Match Your Running Pace

"There's an incredible opportunity to soundtrack your entire day, and your entire life, in all its complexity," said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.
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Streaming-music giant Spotify is expanding past the songs and becoming more of a media hub, adding news-video clips, podcasts and some exclusive "audio content" to its catalog.

The "new Spotify" will introduce video and audio to the platform for the first time, with entertainment and news clips from ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Vice Media, NBC (which, like, is owned by NBCUniversal) and other studios.

Some of the clips and other content will be exclusive to Spotify, and they'll be mixed in amid the traditional streaming song options.

But the new Spotify is still focused on music, CEO Daniel Ek said Wednesday at a launch event in New York City. The video clips are part of a content mix that, coupled with new features, Spotify hopes will keep people connected all day.

To that end, Spotify is adding a "Now" start page designed to suggest songs and videos appropriate for the time of day. For example, Spotify might play an up-tempo song to kickstart your Monday morning -- but if you quickly turn to a news podcast instead, Spotify will "learn" your habits and make changes over time.

"There's an incredible opportunity to soundtrack your entire day, and your entire life, in all its complexity," Ek said at the event.

Two other new Spotify features are aimed at runners. Gustav Söderström, Spotify's chief product officer, took the stage at the event to discuss research that shows the appropriate beat can help runners maintain a strong pace.

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Now, the Spotify app can detect a runner's movements and pace -- and match the workout with songs at the right tempo. Those recommendations will be pulled from users' listening history, several genres and a new list of original "running compositions."

The feature is called Spotify running, and it "finds that track that matches the beat of your feet," Söderström said. Slow down or speed up and the app will make changes to the music too. Six special music tracks can change the number of beats per minute automatically to match a runner's faster or slower pace.

This summer, Spotify is also planning a new deal with Nike to "bring new music experiences" to users, and the company will also offer integration with the popular RunKeeper running app. The company didn't provide many details about these partnerships at the Wednesday event.

Ek also briefly mentioned Spotify's new deal with Starbucks, which the company announced on Monday. The partnership allows Spotify to issue Starbucks rewards points to its subscribers.

Spotify, which boasts 60 million active users and has streamed 25 billion hours of music, is working to set itself apart in the crowded streaming-music space. Behemoths Apple, Google and Amazon offer music services, and smaller companies like Rhapsody, Jay-Z's Tidal and Rdio have entered a crowded arena.

By adding a video component focused on entertainment and news along with improved music personalization, Spotify is trying to give users fewer and fewer reasons to stop the music.