Jan 22, 2024 2 min read

Spotify won’t be launching on Vision Pro and lots of people are surprised - but why would it?

Some people are relieved that Spotify won’t be wasting money trying to force a square peg into a round hole with an early Visio Pro app - while other people are outraged that an audio company won’t be launching on a primarily visual platform. There’s no helping some folk.

Spotify won’t be launching on Vision Pro and lots of people are surprised - but why would it?
Photo credit: Apple

Who won’t be launching on Vision Pro when Apple's mixed reality headset goes on sale next month? Spotify, that’s who. But then given their recent expensive experiments with podcasts and a long history of lacklustre video products, that’s probably not such a bad thing. 

The music service is not the only digital content platform holding back on launching a bespoke Vision Pro app. Both Netflix and YouTube have confirmed to Bloomberg that Vision Pro users will have to use the device's built-in web browser to access their platforms. 

Netflix said in a statement: “Our members will be able to enjoy Netflix on the web browser on the Vision Pro, similar to how our members can enjoy Netflix on Macs". A spokesperson for Spotify confirmed that it hasn't announced any plans to develop a Vision Pro app, but declined to comment on whether such a thing might be considered in the future. 

While Spotify has a high profile and ongoing beef with Apple over in-app payments, that is unlikely to have impacted on any decision making around developing a Vision Pro app. If the music service saw a significant commercial opportunity in creating an app for Apple's headset, it would pursue that opportunity. 

However, Vision Pro is primarily designed for immersive video content, making it less of a priority for audio-centric platforms, especially in the early phase when consumer interest in such products and experiences is still to be tested. 

Although Spotify has dabbled with video content over the years, those dabblings have always been on the periphery and somewhat lacklustre. And the company is currently focused on reducing its overheads - having spent heavily in recent years on its expansion into podcasts and audiobooks - so it won't want to invest in developing new experimental video products. 

Indeed, after wide ranging layoffs just weeks before Christmas - which saw it make more than 1500 people redundant as part of that bid to save money - it’s unclear whether Spotify would have the engineering resource, or desire, to develop and maintain yet another app on yet another platform.

Future moves in this domain may be influenced by whether or not the music industry sees an opportunity in creating immersive video content. 

The new iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max can be used to record spatial video giving creators a (relatively) affordable way to create spatial video content. That will allow independent creators to innovate in this space, meaning indie artists and labels could get a head start on the major players and be first to capitalise on the creative and commercial opportunities if Vision Pro really takes off. And, indeed, those innovators in the independent sector could then influence the spatial video strategies of the majors and streaming services.

Various American broadcasters and sports leagues have developed bespoke apps for Vision Pro, as have Amazon, TikTok and Disney. A company with long ties to Apple, Disney will make 3D content available via its Disney+ Vision Pro app from launch.

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