With the video streaming market starting to feel a little saturated, audio and podcasts, in particular, could be the next big focus. Apple reiterated its commitment to the medium by introducing a paid subscription service. Shortly after, arch-rival Spotify has come up with its own subscription platform that one-ups the Cupertino giant in one major way.
Spotify might be the frontrunner when it comes to music streaming, but it's still a new player in the world of podcasting. There are plenty of issues that the company needs to work on to improve the experience, but today podcasts on Spotify are starting to get a little more interactive thanks to a new test that lets podcasters connect to their audiences through polling.
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Last November, my favorite podcast—The Last Podcast On The Left—signed a 2-year exclusive distribution agreement with Spotify, for what was very likely a very substantial sum of money. That deal meant that as of February 2020, the show would only be available for Spotify users. And it wasn't just The Last Podcast On The Left, but the entire Last Podcast Network (LPN) and all of its millions of listeners. They would have to download Spotify to listen to new episodes of LPN's many popular shows, and they would no longer be able to do so via traditional podcast feeds (the exception being LPOTL Patreon subscribers, who can still access a traditional feed by paying $10/month).
Today is the International Podcast Day and Spotify, making strives toward becoming the world's number one audio platform through its Audio-First initiative, is now allowing all of its users to add podcasts in addition to music into custom playlists and share them with others.
Spotify subscribers are in for a treat today as the company's awaited video and podcast service has gone live in the Android app. Spotify Now, the company's start screen "hub" sort of thing, now features video content in addition to the mood stations and other stuff it's had since it launched last year. Spotify's beta app has had video and podcast content for quite a while now through a long-standing A/B test (over six months), but today marks the wide rollout of the feature to non-beta users. Last September, the other major Spotify Now feature, Running, left beta as well.