If you listen to podcasts but also like to see your chatty hosts filling up a screen somewhere in the background, Spotify — the audio streaming company where podcasting is more prevalent than ever — is stepping up with support for video podcasts in its desktop and mobile apps, available to free and premium users globally.
On desktop, the video appears in a section above a podcast's episode list. The box moves to the lower-right corner as users browse other items in Spotify.
It's a similar story on mobile, though front-and-center viewing only happens while on the playback screen. Users cannot turn video off while they're in the app, but the feature does take advantage of background play (and the lower streaming data toll) so that users can just listen to the audio from outside the app. Podcast downloads are relegated to audio only, no video.
"Book of Basketball 2.0," "Fantasy Footballers, "The Misfits Podcast, "H3 Podcast," "The Morning Toast, "High Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay," and "The Rooster Teeth Podcast" are some of the first shows to support video on Spotify with more to come.
A couple of good bits to add for v2 would be the option to bring out picture-in-picture viewing outside Spotify and a toggle to just turn off video in the app. Turning on Data Saver in the app's settings may limit music streams to low quality, but it can't stop the visuals from flowing as of now. Or, maybe even better in some cases, get YouTube Premium and watch/listen to their podcasts there.