Spotify adds video podcasts to help fans connect with creators

Staff Writer

Australian free users and paid subscribers of Spotify can watch video podcasts on both the desktop and mobile app, the company announced July 21 as part of a global roll-out.

Earlier this month it introduced a slew of new charts – Top Podcasts and Trending Podcasts – while Australia was additionally a handful of territories to get category level rankings.

Aside from watching creator-made podcasts, users and subscribers can still access audio as a stand-alone, for streaming and downloading for offline listening.

They can switch seamlessly between the two.

The initial shows launching video companion content are Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, The Misfits Podcast, H3 Podcast, The Morning Toast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay and The Rooster Teeth Podcast.

“Many podcast fans love watching their favourite podcasts as much as they enjoy listening to them,” wrote Spotify on its For The Record blog.

“Through these visuals, fans can get to know their favourite podcast hosts even better, and creators can more deeply connect with their audiences.”

The new feature will provide creators a way to expand their audience, and allow Spotify a new destination to sell ads in, as YouTube does successfully, although that aspect is still in its “early stages”.

Podcasters are expected to also continue to upload their content on YouTube, where they will benefit not only from Google-inserted ads but also from search traffic.

In recent weeks, Spotify amped up its podcast content with deals with Warner Bros. and its comic book franchise subsidiary DC Entertainment (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) and Kim Kardashian West.

These follow paying a reported $100 million for the hugely popular The Joe Rogan Experience in May (set to debut on Spotify on September 1) and $250 million for sports media The Ringer.

Spotify offers over 1 million podcasts, with its podcast consumption up by “triple digits” in the first quarter of 2020, compared with Q1 2019.

In February, it increased its investment in a number of original and exclusive Australian podcasts, releasing figures that 22% of Australians now listen to a podcast each month.

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