Spotify leans in to video podcasts

Spotify leans in to video podcasts
Spotify founder Daniel Ek speaking at Stream On 2023.

Spotify revealed wider video podcast tools at its annual upfronts in LA yesterday.

Video podcasting, interactive episodes with Q&As and polls, subscriptions and analytics will now be made available to all podcasters on the platform.

Julie McNamara, head of global podcast studios at Spotify, revealed exclusive video podcast series of Distractible and Go! My Favorite Sports Team with YouTuber Markiplier, along with Mindset Mentor, Meanwhile Forbidden Fruits was renewed for another season with all-video episodes.

“Video podcasting is one of the fastest growing areas of podcasting, and we expect that growth to continue,” McNamara said, adding that Spotify currently had 70,000 video creators on its platform.

That growth is expected to continue and Spotify is “looking forward to introducing millions of new listeners to video podcasts.”

Maya Prohovnik, VP head of podcast product, echoed this new priority as she told attendees of Spotify’s Stream On event: “Empowering creators is central to everything we do at Spotify. Whether you are native to audio or video, we’re committed to building the platform you need to create great content and find success.”

Spotify also announced it will also merge its podcast tools (including Anchor and Megaphone) into “a one-stop shop” called “Spotify for Podcasters”, so creators can create, manage, grow and monetise content from one place.

Other new podcast and video features include Chapters which allows podcasters to divide their podcasts into accessible sections for listeners, AutoPlay, which automatically plays a new or recommended podcast episode (like what has previously been implemented for Spotify music), and Spotify Clips, which allows artists to add 30-second videos to their artist profiles and album pages.

This move into video not only ties in with Spotify’s new “TikTokified” interface with “new visuals, and a complete new and interactive design” which is being rolled out to its excess of 500 million monthly active users, but also competition with YouTube.

Last week, YouTube’s streaming service YouTube Music announced it would be adding podcasts into its platform.

Lauren Croly, head of audio at Mediacom called this “yet another move by YouTube to grab share of voice off of tech competitors in this space.”

She said felt like “a bit of an afterthought” for YouTube given the growth and press around podcasts in recent years. surrounding Podcasts for the past few years.”

Croly added: “By consolidating all audio assets into YouTube Music, the assumption is that Premium subscribers are who this is being implemented for, and therefore it’s a natural positioning alongside Spotify and Apple Music.

“Ultimately, it’s another positive step to see that audio and podcasts are being taken seriously by global media players, but will it improve the output of the content or just become another “archive” for consumers, that’s the big question.”

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