Spotify takes on Apple Music with its own music videos in 11 countries — but you might be surprised which didn't make the list

iPhone close up showing Spotify
(Image credit: Spotify)

The battle between Apple Music and Spotify continues, and there's even a battle between Apple as a whole and the Swedish music streamer thanks to the ongoing EU Digital Markets Act shenanigans as well. But it's the music that really matters, and Spotify has taken a step closer to offering feature parity with Apple in one key way — support for music videos.

While Apple Music has offered music fans the chance to watch the videos that go along with their favorite songs for years, Spotify has lagged behind somewhat. That's changing as of today, with Spotify announcing that it is rolling music video support out to a total of 11 countries as part of a beta experience that will likely improve considerably in the future. The list of 11 countries includes plenty that you might expect including Spotify's home country of Sweden, but there's one notable exception that will no doubt be corrected in due course.

At the time of writing Spotify is launching music video support in the U.K., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Kenya. The most obvious omission there is the United States, and while some might make the link to Apple's home turf, that's surely little more than a coincidence. In fact, Spotify says that there's actual science behind its decision to roll the new feature out in Kenya, but not the US.

Let the beat go on ... in some countries

In a press release detailing the new beta feature, Spotify simply listed the countries that are coming online. But in a deeper dive with TechCrunch, Spotify’s VP Global Head of Consumer Experience Sten Garmark explained that the company " chose these markets based on a number of criteria including market size and the availability of local content support." The VP went on to add that users should "stay tuned as we hope to expand the catalog of music videos and increase availability to more countries.”

Being in one of those 11 countries isn't the only limitation here, either. Spotify says that you'll need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to enjoy the new music video feature with the price of that subscription varying depending on what part of the world you happen to live in, whether you're a student, and if you want multiple people to be able to use the streaming service on the same account.

Beyond the country and payment limitations, there is also no guarantee that your favorite songs will have videos available anyway. The press release notes that the feature is rolling out "with a limited catalog of music videos, including hits from global artists like Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, and Ice Spice, or local favorites like Aluna and Asake."

You'll know whether the song you're listening to has a video available because there will be a button that offers users the chance to "Switch to Video" if that's the case. The video then starts from the beginning of the song. The option to switch back to an audio-only version of the song will also be available, too. Turning the iPhone into portrait orientation will allow the video to fill the screen, too.

Spotify says that the new music video feature is available on iOS and macOS as well as TV devices, not to mention Android phones and other desktop apps.

The feature appears to work well currently, but the only question many reading this will have is currently impossible to answer — when will Spotify music videos launch in the US?

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Wotchered said:
    Spotify is rolling music video support out to 11 countries starting today, but there's one notable absence.

    Spotify takes on Apple Music with its own music videos in 11 countries — but you might be surprised which didn't make the list : Read more

    I don't give a rat's arse for any music video, the music does not get better for seeing the artists, contrariwise, in many cases.
  • EdwinG
    My country is not on the list.

    It wouldn’t change a thing, because the last time I watched a music video was like 14 years ago… on MuchMusic!
  • Lee_Bo
    Not a game changer for me. Last time I watched a music video was on MTV when they actually played videos.