You know what's better than just listening to podcasts? Watching them.
Spotify is finally picking up on that by introducing video podcasts in the U.S. and a few other countries. Podcasters will be able to upload their video through Anchor, Spotify's podcast creator tool it bought in 2019. Those who subscribe to Spotify's podcasts will have access to the videos, and the videos will work with embeds.
The platform has been working on it since at least mid-2020 when it tested video podcasts with two YouTubers. Now, it's really leaning into it at a time when video podcasts are growing in popularity.
YouTube has already had major success with video podcasting, and it's grown its efforts over the past few months. It promoted Kai Chuk to lead its podcasting push late last year, and sources told Bloomberg last month that it's offering grants of up to $300,000 for creators to upload video versions of their podcasts on the platform. YouTube also lets Premium subscribers listen to videos without needing to stay on its app, which Spotify will also allow with this initiative.
Being able to watch and listen to a podcast is helpful for both the creator and viewer. Creators get a two-for-one on content. Video is much more likely to be shared than audio, which explains why some of YouTube's most popular podcasts are the ones you can actually see. As the Verge pointed out, Elon Musk's appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast got a ton of attention after Musk could be seen smoking a blunt on-air.
On the viewer side, it's like getting to know your favorite podcaster on a more personal level. You can see them, their hand gestures and facial expressions. Say I'm, I don't know, a Taylor Swift superfan and she creates her own podcast. You bet I'll be watching it over breakfast every morning. And if I'm too busy to sit down and watch the whole thing, I know I can always have the option to listen to it. You know, the old-fashioned way. Having options is great. [Editor's note: I aged 10 years just reading this. -BK]
Spotify is looking to cash in on some of that video engagement with its new effort. "We’ve found that podcasters love having the option to accompany their audio with visual components, and fans love having the opportunity to more deeply connect with the content," the platform said in a release.