Spotify is beefing up its big podcasting push by adding video to select shows — on the theory that “vodcasts” will prove even more engaging.
Spotify’s new video podcasts are available in all markets where podcasts are supported, and, of course, for those which the creators have produced a video companion. Starting today, Spotify Free and Premium users can watch video content from podcasts including Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, The Misfits Podcast, H3 Podcast from Ethan and Hila Klein of h3h3, The Morning Toast (a talk show hosted by Claudia Oshry, aka “Girl With No Job,” and her sister Jackie, with whom Verizon severed ties two years ago over their past anti-Muslim tweets), Higher Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay, and The Rooster Teeth Podcast (pictured above) from WarnerMedia’s Otter Media.
More video versions of podcasts will be coming to the platform soon. For example, Spotify’s deal with Joe Rogan — whose popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” will be coming exclusively to the platform later in 2020 — include video episodes that will be made available on Spotify as well.
“Through these visuals, fans can get to know their favorite podcast hosts even better, and creators can more deeply connect with their audiences,” Spotify said in announcing the video podcast launch.
To start watching video podcasts, Spotify users simply select “play” on their desktop or mobile app (or in the web version of Spotify). The videos will start automatically and sync with the audio feed. If you want to perform other tasks on a mobile device (or want to lock it during the episode), the audio will continue to play in the background without interruption.
The video episodes of the podcast will be streaming-only, while Spotify users will still be able to download the audio to their mobile devices to listen to shows while offline.
Spotify has been aggressively building out its podcast portfolio with original and exclusive shows including Michelle Obama’s new podcast launching July 29 and one from digital star Addison Rae co-hosted with her mom, Sheri Nicole. It has also bought up podcast companies including Gimlet Media and Bill Simmons’ The Ringer.
In reporting Q1 earnings, Spotify acknowledged that COVID-19 quarantines depressed podcast listenership in the first three months of the year. However, it said, about 19% of monthly active users listened to podcast content in Q1 (up from 16% the previous quarter).