Spotify is testing what it describes as a new “listening experience” that combines music and spoken-word content in a new playlist-style podcast format.
Shows that use this new format, which the company says is one of its most-requested features, will see talk segments and individual tracks stacked together, allowing Spotify’s listeners to interact with music within episodes in the same way they normally interact with tracks on the platform.
The company states that this new format marks an evolution from its personalized Your Daily Drive podcasts that combine podcasts and music, which were launched in the US in June last year, followed by Germany in October 2019 and in the UK last month.
Shows using Spotify’s new format rely on the platform’s music catalog licenses, which means that musicians and songwriters are compensated “just like any regular stream of a music track on Spotify”.
Spotify Premium listeners will hear full tracks as part of these shows, and Free tier users will hear 30-second music previews.
Shows using this format are also exclusive to Spotify.
Starting today, the company is allowing users of its podcast creation platform Anchor in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland to create shows in the new format, with the feature expanding to more countries soon.
During the beta, according to Spotify, shows containing music will “undergo a review process before being published to Spotify to ensure that they follow Anchor and Spotify’s community guidelines, terms of service, and monetization rules” which can take up to 24 hours.
Anchor users creating a show in this format can add as many songs as they want, but songs can’t be edited.
This new show format also includes new monetization options so that hosts can generate revenue from their podcasts.
Hosts in the US can insert ads into shows via Anchor Sponsorships as long as they follow Spotify’s monetization guidelines. For example, ads can’t be placed within 60 seconds of a song and they also have to have at least 10 minutes of non-music content between them.
“The new format solves a variety of limitations previously inherent to audio creation and distribution, which have never before been able to leverage the power of music streaming.”
For any episode of a show with music, users can hit Explore Episode on the episode page, or tap the play bar at the bottom of the screen to pull up the episode’s list of tracks, which you can then like or save as normal.
Seven new Spotify Original Shows that use the feature have been launched today (October 14) according to a blog post announcing the news.
Said Spotify: “We’ve heard for years that listeners want an easy way to discover and save the music that’s incorporated into their favorite podcasts.
“This new show format provides a listening experience that answers these requests, breaking the confines of the traditional podcast structure: this is an entirely new way to stream audio.
Added Spotify: “The new format solves a variety of limitations previously inherent to audio creation and distribution, which have never before been able to leverage the power of music streaming.
“For creators, it will now be possible to leverage licensed music in an easy, fair way. Creation tooling is available for Anchor users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.”Music Business Worldwide