Spotify premium just got a huge video upgrade

Now you can see the stars as you stream them: new videos include Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat and Ice Spice

Spotify video
(Image credit: Spotify)

If you're a Spotify Premium subscriber in the UK or 10 other countries, you can now stream music videos as part of your package. The beta version of music videos on Spotify is rolling out from today with a "limited catalogue" of music videos from big hitters such as Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat and Ice Spice.

The new feature is available in the iOS and Android apps, on desktop and on TVs too. Artist pages will display a carousel of available videos, and when a video is available for a song you're looking at or listening to you'll see a "switch to video" toggle; the video will then appear in the Now Playing view. The toggle then changes to say "switch to audio", which does exactly what you'd expect. On mobile, turning your phone or tablet to landscape mode will set the video to play in full screen mode.

Where else can you get music videos in your streaming app?

For Spotify subscribers this probably feels like another case of better late than never: Apple Music has had videos since it launched and created a dedicated videos section in 2018, TIDAL launched with a quarter of a million music videos in 2018, and Amazon Music added video in 2020. 

Spotify already has some limited video support in the form of its short Canvas videos. But the new service is a big upgrade for subscribers as it's no longer limited to super-short clips. And it won't be embedding content from other platforms, such as YouTube – currently the go-to destination for music videos. The Spotify video content will be hosted in-house, not drawn from YouTube, Vevo, Vimeo or other large platforms. That could have quite an effect on YouTube in particular, as it's likely to keep Spotify's large user base viewing videos in-app instead of searching for it elsewhere.

For now the new service is in beta in 11 markets: the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia and Kenya. And it's for Premium subscribers only, so ad-supported users are out of luck. As yet Spotify hasn't announced any plans to launch the music video service in other markets.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).