In May, it was reported that Spotify had been testing an in-app video podcast feature.
Today (July 21), the music streaming company has officially launched creator-made video podcasts globally, available for free and Premium users.
In a blog post, Spotify states the new feature will allow “select creators to bring both audio and video content to Spotify, enabling them to connect more meaningfully with their listeners, expand viewership, and deepen audience engagement”.
At launch, video podcasts are available for the 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.
Spotify adds that the visuals are “a way to enrich the audio experience – for fans and creators alike.
To start watching a video podcast, you’ll need press play on the Spotify app on either desktop or mobile and the videos will start automatically and sync immediately with your audio feed.
The audio will continue to play in the background with no interruption if you’re multitasking between apps or lock your device during playback.
“Through these visuals, fans can get to know their favorite podcast hosts even better, and creators can more deeply connect with their audiences.”
“Many podcast fans love watching their favorite podcasts as much as they enjoy listening to them,” states Spotify in the blog post announcing the new feature.
“Through these visuals, fans can get to know their favorite podcast hosts even better, and creators can more deeply connect with their audiences.
“That’s why today, Spotify is unveiling the first version of our new video podcast feature with select podcasts.
“Now listeners in all markets where podcasts are supported will be able to listen to or watch those podcasts as the feature rolls out.”
Last month it was reported that Spotify has inked a multi-year podcast deal with Warner Bros. and its subsidiary DC Entertainment, home of iconic comic book franchises like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
In addition, on June 17, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Spotify signed an exclusive podcast deal with Kim Kardashian West.
Citing people familiar with the deal, the WSJ reported that the criminal-justice-focused series will be co-hosted with television producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi.
The show will be co-produced with true crime podcast studio Parcast, which Spotify acquired in a deal worth over $50m in April last year.
Both of those deals follow May’s news that that hugely popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience will be launching exclusively on Spotify via a multi-year licensing deal for audio and video, which the WSJ suggested will cost Spotify over $100m.
The JRE will debut on Spotify on September 1, 2020, and become exclusively available on the platform later this year.
Spotify’s increasingly aggressive podcasting strategy includes paying $250m for Bill Simmons-founded sports media outlet, the Ringer.
Spotify also spent $375m in cash on buying podcast companies last year – across three deals with a total value of $404m.
Those other companies are:
New York-based Anchor FM Inc, an online platform which enables users to both create and distribute podcast content, which SPOT bought on February 14 for a total consideration of €136m ($154m).
Next came podcast producer Gimlet Media, for a total deal price of $195m. Spotify acquired the firm on February 15 for a total consideration of €172m ($195m), consisting of €170m ($193m) in cash. The remainder of this purchase price (€2m) was “related to the fair value of partially vested share-based payment awards replaced”.
After Gimlet and Anchor came Parcast, which Spotify acquired in April 2019.Music Business Worldwide