Spotify to add video content, announces new partnerships

Music streaming service Spotify will start offering video content with partners including Comedy Central and Vice News as it moves to expand beyond its core business, the company announced Wednesday.

At a press event, Spotify also detailed plans for news and podcast offerings through the partnerships. The company touted an emphasis on personalized playlists and recommendations based on the time of day through its "Now" feature, which rolls out to Apple iPhone users in certain markets Wednesday, beginning with the U.S., United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany. Android versions and further global expansion are planned.

"There's an incredible opportunity to soundtrack your entire day and your entire life. We're taking a huge leap to give it to you," said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek at the event.

Spotify's chief revenue officer, Jeff Levick, told CNBC that the company noticed that while user session times were increasing, people were tuning out to look at other types of content while on its platform. He emphasized that the streaming service still is a music company at its core, but it decided to add the "logical extension" of more kinds of media to create a better experience for its users.

"We focus so much on our consumers and how they are spending time on Spotify and what's important to them," he said. "Obviously they are deeply engaged in music, but there are other content types that they enjoy seeing."

The popular streaming service has more than 60 million users and more than 15 million paid subscribers globally and, according to Levick, boasts a 25 percent free-to-paid user-conversion rate. Its newest relationships come on the heels of a music deal with Starbucks, which was unveiled on Monday.

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Additional media partners unveiled Wednesday range from Disney to ESPN, MTV and NBC Universal. Certain content from partners like Nerdist will be available on Spotify hours before it is released anywhere else. Vice Media will be contributing video from its Vice News properties, including clips from its existing programs "Daily Capsule" along with "The People Speak."

Spotify also outlined a running feature that matches customized music recommendations with an individual's pace, which iPhone users can access starting Wednesday. In a deal with Nike, Spotify's exercise functions will become available on the sports apparel company's running app this summer.

In addition, it will add more original music from artists such as top electronic music producer and DJ Tiësto and up-and-coming R&B artist D'Angelo.

Because the new platform is heavily reliant on user data, it will be personalized so that no two Spotify sessions will look alike. Levick promised "further enhancements" for paid users and potentially original video content in the future.

"Creating a deeply immersive experience allows us to either put more advertising on it in the free version or gets people to pay through subscriptions," Levick said.

The company's diversification comes as it faces increased competition in the music streaming space. Rapper Jay Z recently launched Tidal, a streaming service in which musicians hold majority ownership. Apple is widely expected to join the market after its acquisition of Beats Music last year.

Levick said that Spotify wasn't worried about its potential competitors.

"We're excited to see the world is embracing streaming," he said. "As the leaders in this and the first real company to focus on music streaming, seeing that other companies are getting into the music space—and the way they are doing it is via streaming—we see this as a validation of that; this is the business model of the future."

Chicago-based digital marketing consultant David Deal said that while adding video content is a good move for Spotify, he worries that unless the programming is original, the company will not add subscriptions and, in turn, revenue. He added that it already has huge music licensing fees that it has to absorb, and adding video content only adds to the burden. However, incorporating original music and brand partnerships like Nike and Starbucks is a good start, he said.

"Spotify needs to turn a profit, and sharing someone else's content is not the answer," he said.

Spotify's valuation has reportedly topped $8 billion, more than double the market capitalization of public streaming rival Pandora. Levick declined to disclose revenue or respond to the rumors about Spotify's potential IPO, instead saying that Spotify is focused on growing its user base.

Read MoreSpotify raises $350M at $8B valuation: Sources

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CNBC's Jon Fortt contributed to this report.