Spotify now has more than 285 million monthly users on its platform. What began as a music streaming platform back in 2009 to rival Apple’s iTunes has now ballooned into a publicly-traded company with a $50 billion valuation. Upon their introduction of podcasts exactly a year ago, the Swedish company has been able to buy-out the Joe Rogan Experience from YouTube and has even introduced a popular podcast with the former first lady, Michelle Obama.
Now Spotify is introducing a new video podcast feature with select podcasts so fans can watch while they listen. But the move is simultaneously motivated by creating competition with YouTube, which is the dominant platform people turn to for viewing podcasts.
“Many podcast fans love watching their favorite podcasts as much as they enjoy listening to them,” Spotify said on their pressroom blog upon the new rollout. “Through these visuals, fans can get to know their favorite podcast hosts even better, and creators can more deeply connect with their audiences.”
To start watching, just press play on your desktop or mobile app. The creator-made videos will start automatically and sync immediately with your audio feed. If you’re multitasking between apps or want to lock your device during the episode, no worries: your audio will continue to play in the background with no interruption (and minimal data usage). All listeners will still be able to download the audio to their mobile devices to listen to shows on the go.
The new feature allows 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. It’s a way to enrich the audio experience—for fans and creators alike.