Amid an ambitious push into the podcasting space following the $340 million acquisition of Gimlet Media and Anchor as well the subsequent purchases of Parcast ($56 million) and The Ringer ($200 million) Spotify is looking to bring a visual component to its audio endeavors.
While Spotify hasn’t confirmed the tests, adding video to podcasts makes sense. Spotify already shows looping videos of album artwork, and it recently purchased The Ringer, which has video shows. A few people may remember that Spotify used to have videos, but it canceled them in 2017. One year later, Spotify hinted that it might bring more photos and videos to podcasts, but it has kept quiet about those plans since.
Spotify is launching a global test for 50% of users that will mark the music streamer’s foray into native video podcasting, according to a person familiar with the program. The test will involve the four most recent episodes of a podcast hosted by none other than YouTube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar dubbed Unfiltered, which will now be available as videos within the Spotify app. While a full rollout for video podcasts is imminent, a date has yet to be confirmed.
According to The Verge, in the upcoming test, listeners will only know if an episode has video after they tap it. The footage will appear at the bottom of the screen. It will keep playing even if the user locks their phone. Ads will still run, but the video will freeze, and Spotify will not translate videos into other languages.
Demand for content is huge right now with everyone staying home, and podcast-listening habits are changing. So, it will be interesting to see if adding video increases demand and how adding video might impact the app’s performance.
“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience,” a Spotify spokesperson tells Tubefilter in a statement. “Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”