Spotify is the world's best-known music streaming service, but music isn't the only content you can find on the platform if you're prepared to do some digging around. There's a ton more available, if you know where to find it.
Unfortunately, Spotify doesn't make this alternative material very easy to find (with the possible exception of comedy). You might need to do some extensive searching—or know exactly what it is you're looking for—in order to find the good stuff to mix in with your music.
Spotify does make some effort to let people know that comedy tracks are available on its network. July is actually "stand-up month," and if you click through to the News tab in the Browse section of the player you can see quick links to comedians including Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Tig Notaro, Chris Rock, Louis CK, and many others.
You can also search for a comedian through the usual methods—try looking for a specific artist or one of the many stand-up comedy playlists that other Spotify users have put together. Shows are usually chopped up into smaller tracks which you can add to your own collections as required.
There are some audiobook gems on Spotify, but it's slim pickings and not an officially supported feature. Don't expect a treasure trove of content to appear beneath your search box, but there's some notable material out there in audiobook form. If you're stuck on holiday without something to read, Spotify might be able to plug the hole.
You can find Dickens' A Tale Of Two Cities, for example, as well as Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. We're talking mainly about old classic literature that's now in the public domain, so limit your expectations and searches accordingly.
Okay, this is music-related, but it's still counts as an alternative to Spotify's main functionality. Click through to the Discover section on either the desktop Spotify client or the Web interface and you can see upcoming gigs from artists that you've listening to in the past or that you might be interested in.
It's little more than an extension of the Songkick website, but it's a quick and convenient way of picking up concert tickets and seeing who's on tour in your area. You can click through to the main Songkick portal if you want more details or need to run an advanced search.
That's not to mention the extensive selection of apps you can find in Spotify's desktop client: these apps cover news, discovery, concerts and more, but with the platform now closed off to new app submissions it doesn't seem to be a priority in the company's future plans. Besides, between the stand-up, classic novels, and concerts,you'll more than have your hands full as it is.