Spotify now supports video podcasts, starting with a handful of shows that can be viewed by most free and premium users. The company announced made the announcement last year, saying that all users where podcasts are supported will be able to not only listen to these shows but also watch them, both on desktop and mobile.
For now, though, only certain podcasts are able to post video to Spotify; most podcasters won’t be able to upload their own video footage. Videos will start automatically when someone presses play, and they’ll sync with the audio feed, so if someone exits the app or locks their device while watching, the audio will continue.
It unsuccessfully attempted to expand into video a few years ago and officially launched video podcasts globally in July, having made exclusive video content a key element of its $100m deal with Joe Rogan in May.
There was also a report in May that music videos could be coming to the platform after reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered Spotify was testing a ‘Video’ tab on the ‘Now Playing’ screen of its app.
This feature sets Spotify up to compete with YouTube on podcasting. It’s already locked down the platform’s biggest show — The Joe Rogan Experience — and while most podcasters likely won’t be exclusive to Spotify, video podcasts on the platform mean creators have more flexibility with distribution.
They can promote Spotify as a place to not only download or stream their show but also to watch it, giving the platform a leg up on YouTube. Still, podcasters will likely continue uploading their shows to YouTube if only to profit off of Google-inserted ads and to benefit from search traffic and discoverability. But with Spotify, they can reach even more listeners in a place where they likely already listen to podcasts.