Spotify’s Stream On event on Monday was lengthy as there were loads of announcements. I am not going into all of them, you can catch up on the important updates via its blog post.
As a journalist and content creator myself, I am interested in its update for creators. If you’re in the media, a fellow journo or digital creator who wants to expand into audio, pay attention.
A major announcement from Spotify is that it is expanding to 80 more countries and will be available in 36 languages, this is a massive potential reach for anyone creating content. This brings Spotify’s total reach to over 170 markets globally, which make up over 1 billion people. New markets in the coming days include Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Here are key new features creators can look forward to:
If you have a WordPress blog, Spotify will allow you to convert your written posts into an audio format to help get your podcast going, all within a few clicks. This will be done via its Anchor platform. And in return, podcasters can create a website just as easily.
Spotify just announced a partnership with WordPress to convert blogs into audio format via Anchor. Wondering about the quality and how well it will translate into podcasts, but let’s see. #SpotifyStreamOn
— Nafisa Akabor (@nafisa1) February 22, 2021
The company says this offers a whole new group of creators—those who have historically focused on the written word—to access an entirely new audience via audio and share their voices on Spotify. If you want find out more on how to go about doing this, I suggest you take a look at both the WordPress blog post and the Anchor blog post.
REAL-TIME INTERACTIVE FEATURES
Podcasts are typically a one way street and Spotify wants to change that by offering an opportunity for direct feedback. Creators will be able to experience with Polls and Q&A features, which has already been tested with a small group of podcasters. This feature will be expanded to more users but if you’re a creator who wants to register interest and participate in future tests, click here.
While this isn’t new (vodcasts), Spotify will allow creators whether big or small to combine audio and visual story telling directly on the platform. This will be enabled via Anchor and has been in testing phase since last July. Spotify says later this year more creators can access this feature as they expand the offering.
PAID PODCAST SUBSCRIPTIONS
A feature available on other platforms, Spotify says it will also allow creators on its platform to do the same. It will begin testing this feature first to allow for new revenue streams for creators by listeners. Some creators have been creating exclusive content for paid subs, so if you’re on Spotify, you should be able to do the same. But still in early stages, and you can register interest here.
SPOTIFY AUDIENCE NETWORK
A first of its kind service, the Spotify Audio Network is an audio advertising marketplace for advertisers of all sizes (budgets) to connect to listeners, whatever the topic. Spotify says, “We’ll leverage our medium-defining technology to give advertisers the ability to reach our audience of hundreds of millions of listeners—at scale—both on and off Spotify. We are in the early stages of developing this offering and look forward to sharing more in the coming months.” Excellent news for content creators.
PODCAST TOPIC SEARCH
Spotify has some of the best discover tools but now, using machine learning, users will be able to search for topics of interest to find podcasts. I’m looking forward to this, currently it’s not easy to find what you’re looking for. I hope this is localised too, everything can sometimes be too American or too white.
Why should you care about Spotify’s updates? Especially when you can upload your own vodcast or podcast elsewhere? If you’re in the media space in whatever capacity and want to expand your reach, try new platforms, and simply go where the audience is going, it’s probably best to be on the platform that is spending this much money and resources to build it up.
Spotify is the most popular music streaming site; the audience is already there. It becomes that much easier to listen to stuff if you’re already a subscriber. When I had both Apple Music and Spotify, I still preferred to listen to podcasts on Spotify. I just like having my audio content in one platform because it’s too much of a hassle to have playlists on multiple platforms.
That said, I am open to starting a podcast but it’s a matter of time and resources. Will you be considering starting a podcast with all these tools?
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 15 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ email@example.com