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Spotify testing freemium e-learning video courses

E-learning video courses are Spotify’s next offering as the service pushes for better subscriber retention and growth. Third parties like Skillshare and BBC Maestro are on board and a freemium model will generate new revenue – if people take to the idea.

Remember when Spotify was purely a music streaming service? Those days are well and truly done.

Diversifying business is the name of the game for Daniel Ek and co. Podcasts, audiobooks, and music videos are just a few of the latest offerings from Spotify as it strives to consolidate its 600 million plus premium subscriber-base.

The latest will see a host of e-learning videos pop up in a dedicated feed on the service in the imminent future. If you’re a user in the UK, you are inadvertently part of the performance test so make your stance known.

Working in cahoots with third party pillars like Skillshare, BBC Maestro, Thinkific, PlayVirtuoso, and several others, Spotify is hosting a diverse video-feed with educational videos on all the things you’d expect from a dedicated upskill site.

Basically, whether you’re thinking about pro Excel shortcuts, livening up a bland weekly meal plan, or creating the best set-up for livestreaming, you’re on the right lines. Those looking to create their own e-lessons for Spotify will be spoilt for tutors too, no doubt. Just a hunch.

Much like the music video feature that rolled out last week, third-party publishers own the content and license it to Spotify while the revenue is divvied between creators, host platforms, and the big green app itself… obviously. Charity, this aint.

On the contrary, the e-learning market was estimated to be worth a hefty $315 billion in 2023 and Spotify will be employing the same freemium model which has served its seniors so well. The difference is it’ll be raking in commission for a fraction of the work, in theory.

Reportedly, two lessons will be on the house to begin with, but viewing a total course may range anywhere between £20 and £80. There are no discounts for those already fronting up the subscription fee at present, though nothing is set in stone yet.

Aside from courses being a bit pricey, generally speaking, the strategy behind the move is solid. Around half of Spotify’s Premium subscribers have listened to self-help or education themed podcasts from its roster already, suggesting there’s a clear appetite for the sort of content being offered.

With employment data also pointing to half of the US workforce potentially plying their trade in the gig economy by 2027, younger generations in particular are lapping up resources to help them create their own business opportunities and side hustles while honing skills beyond the offering of a formal education.

If remains to be seen whether people will take to Spotify – an app which used to be all about the music – specifically as a central hub for online learning, but the UK trial allows the platform to have a shot in the dark with minimal risk.

If you’re becoming irked by Spotify’s increasingly convoluted app and yearn for the old core experience, tough luck. The company is rumoured to be fully leaning into a ‘Supremium’ subscription tier, meaning the updates will keep on coming in 2024.