Spotify, MTV Partner on Playlists, Editorial

5:29 PM PST 07/22/2014 by Andrew Flanagan, Billboard
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Spotify's Daniel Ek pays tribute to his early days watching MTV.

Spotify and Viacom have penned a deal bringing the editorial voices of MTV, VH1 and CMT to the streaming services content and apps.

Spotify and Viacom have announced an editorial partnership that will bring MTV, VH1 and CMT's apps and curatorial voice to the Spotify platform in the U.S. The partnership will be U.S.-focused at the outset, with it likely expanding to Europe and beyond in the future.

Jorge Espinel, Spotify's head of business development, told Billboard that "the deal and the partnership have two main objectives. We have a unique platform that enables MTV to expand and share their expertise with our users, which they view as a unique opportunity. They have mass market reach in the U.S., and this partnership will allow us to access that new audience."

Users will need to be logged into the Spotify application on their desktop computers to listen to the embedded playlists, while mobile visitors of MTV websites and apps making use of the partnership will be taken to the Spotify app on their mobile devices. Visitors who are not registered on Spotify will be allowed to stream 30-second samples and be prompted to create a Spotify account.

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The move comes a little over a year after MTV's launch of its artist hubs, intended to bring more awareness to artists while driving partnerships with Viacom's music-focused networks.

Other than (hopefully, at least) driving adoption of Spotify and the usefulness of MTV's, VH1's and CMT's websites and applications, the deal will also net Spotify and MTV useful data on their viewers, visitors and listeners. Through the Echo NestSpotify is able to analyze song acoustics as well as user location and much more — something that would be of great use to MTV, especially as the partnership expands into countries with extremely high streaming adoption, such as Sweden and Norway. Conversely, Spotify would likely benefit greatly from information on countries like Germany and Japan, where streaming adoption remains relatively low.

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Spotify founder Daniel Ek cited his viewing of MTV as an influence, saying in a statement that "MTV opened up the world of music to me as I was growing up, Being able to connect a whole new generation to music through streaming on MTV, VH1 and CMT sites and apps will bring an amazing experience to Spotify users."

This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.

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