Spotify Podcasts Get Video Update

By Sara Smida / November 9, 2020 / Advertising

It feels like only yesterday when Dave Winer and Adam Curry (software developer and MTV video jockey, respectively) developed a program called iPodder.

The program allowed users to download internet radio broadcasts to their iPods.

Known as podcasting, the development took off and changed the way many of us consume content.

But that was 2004 and a lot has developed and changed since then.

Video Podcasts on Spotify

The latest update from Spotify will allow podcasters to share a video of their podcast so listeners can decide how they want to consume the episode.

So, instead of just hearing your favorite podcasters talk, you can enjoy watching them bring the show to life.

Both premium Spotify users and free accounts will have access to vodcasts.

For now, a few select podcast series will be able to upload video podcast episodes. Popular series like sports-centered Fantasy Footballers and pop-culture oriented The Morning Toast will offer visual material.

Once a user presses play on an approved podcast episode, the video will automatically begin to play. Choosing to ignore the video will not interrupt the podcast.

Toggling between apps or locking the phone screen won’t interrupt the audio stream.

If you prefer to listen while you work, or need to multitask on the same screen, you can still enjoy the episode without disruption.

This technology update puts Spotify in direct competition with YouTube. Some might even say it’s a gamechanger.

Until this update, podcasters had to release their series on specific podcast platforms built by Google and Apple for their respective listeners.

But that only fulfills the audio aspect. To gain viewers and more followers, podcasters would have to upload their video to YouTube.

So, YouTube got a huge piece of the market without having to lift a finger.

If all podcast-related content is in one place, users won’t have much of a reason to look elsewhere. Unless of course, they don’t use Spotify. But for avid podcast listeners, this new update could entice them to sign up for Spotify.

Spotify Podcasts Have Increased in Popularity

Podcasts have gained in popularity in the past few years, and there seems to be a topic or show for just about every niche.

Even though podcasts have been around for nearly two decades, it wasn’t until 2015 that Spotify pivoted their business model and got a piece of the action.

And, even then, it was an aggregate for only a portion of the podcasts available through Apple and Google.

A few years later in 2018, the concept had grown, and a plethora of podcasts became available to all Spotify listeners.

According to Epic Studios, podcast popularity on Spotify grew an astounding 175% by the end of 2018.

With an increase like this, it was only a matter of time before a new feature was added, keeping the attention and loyalty of fans while still continuing to expand their offerings.

And Edison Research recently reported that podcast listening in America has reached an all-time high with 37% of the population over the age of 12 listening to a podcast every month.

This is a 13% increase from 24% in 2017.

If users can find audio and video content in one place, it could mean the platform might become the popular choice in the entertainment category.

From a consumer standpoint, I am excited for the updated option to consume my favorite podcasts in one place, with the added choice of watching the hosts speak.

There are other options, but some charge a fee to watch the vodcasts — like Patreon, which certainly works and has its benefits for podcasters.

But it also has the possibility to exclude some of the audience who choose not to pay for vodcasts (like me).

Which is when I put on my content maker hat to embrace the changing technology.

This update is a tremendous way to reach new audience members while also cementing your brand as an authority in its respective field.

And if there’s anything I love more than a well-written piece of content, it’s branding done right.

Spotify has already begun showing music videos for select songs. The new video podcast update continues to make Spotify a more visual platform.

As long as it works as intended, it would be silly for Spotify to pass on this opportunity. And even though the vodcast capability isn’t available for every podcast series at the moment, it’s only a matter of time.

This opens a new door for brands looking to reach even more audiences.

But does it mean that your brand should abandon YouTube?

To put it simply, no. Continue to utilize the platform to reach your dedicated audience and maintain consistency across platforms.

Will it seem like double the work? Maybe. But it will be worth it.

Even though Spotify offers a free account option, it doesn’t mean everyone in the United States uses the platform.

Expand your reach, and don’t limit audience engagement for your brand.

If you need help getting started or navigating the changing marketing landscape, contact our team today.