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Spotify Embraces Video

Video upload Overrules RSS Feed, Pushes Audio Even Without Picture

Spotify Embraces  Video

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After spending more than $1 billion on podcast assets, challenging investor skepticism, laying off dozens of podcasting employees, and parting ways with its main podcasting chief, Spotify is establishing its focus for the vertical moving forward: more video, more consolidation, and more splashy names.

Industry insiders have already noted that the new video podcasts uploaded to Spotify are hosted on its servers and do not use RSS feeds. This means the content is exclusive to Spotify, potentially limiting the audience reach to only those using the platform.

The video file is hosted on Spotify’s servers, so plays won’t appear on your own podcast host’s analytics (and things like DAI won’t work).

Additionally, creators must adhere to Spotify’s technical specifications for video uploads, which can be stringent and require careful compliance.

Video podcasts are prominently featured on Spotify’s new homepage, designed to mimic the scrolling experience of TikTok. This new interface showcases clips of music, podcasts, and audiobooks, giving video content an edge in visibility and discoverability.

Video podcasts are also better suited to Spotify’s new homepage, which pulls from TikTok’s playbook. Users will be able to scroll through clips of music, podcasts, and audiobooks. While audio-only podcasts function in this new feed, video podcasts appear to be a better fit.

Podnews offered a specific word of caution: Once you upload the video version, it seems that Spotify will never use your RSS audio - even if your listener doesn’t watch the video.

In this episode they uploaded the video version, edited so that the opening jingle includes “this is the video audio”. In tests, they head it even when downloading as audio-only.

Visual content can enhance the connection between podcasters and their audiences by showcasing facial expressions and body language, which are crucial for building a stronger rapport. This update aligns with Spotify’s focus on engaging younger listeners, a demographic that increasingly consumes multimedia content across platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Spotify’s new video podcasting feature presents a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges. While it promises enhanced engagement, better visibility, and new monetization options, it also brings increased production costs, technical hurdles, and exclusivity constraints. Podcasters must carefully consider these factors to determine if incorporating video content aligns with their goals and resources.