Subscriptions, new features and The Bosses: Spotify's big day
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How does podcast attribution work in an increasingly privacy-conscious world? This week in Sounds Profitable, sponsored by Chartable, we learn that choosing to completely opt out of attribution in this privacy-focused world is an option, but it’s not the only option.
In a day where Spotify outlines their future for audio in their Stream On event, they made so many announcements that this edition of Podnews is entirely full of just them today:
Anchor announced the launch of paid subscriptions later this year. Podcasters will be able to give their supporters additional paid-for features within Spotify. You can sign up for the waitlist. This will be “a limited beta in the US”, starting this Spring, we’re told. The demo in the announcement shows a podcaster being able to choose from $2.99, $4.99 and $7.99/month subscriptions as price points. Podnews was told that Spotify will take a small cut of the fee.
- Michael Mignano, the co-founder of Anchor and Head of the Podcaster Mission at Spotify, told Podnews: “What we’re really trying to do is to give creators ways to make a living off their art. It’s really true to the spirit of our mission to enable creators to monetise their work in whatever ways they see fit.”
Spotify promoted the forthcoming Spotify Audience Network, allowing advertisers access to Spotify’s Originals & Exclusives, podcasts via Megaphone and Anchor, and ad-supported music. It will bring their Streaming Ad Insertion product to Megaphone podcast publishers as well as Anchor podcasters. You can also buy podcast advertising for the first time through Spotify Ad Studio in the US, beta testing from today.
Anchor and Wordpress announced a partnership. You can automatically create a text-to-speech version of your blog, or integrate podcasting into your Wordpress site. Bloggers or podcasters can get started today.
Spotify is testing a method to allow listeners to search for podcasts by theme and topic. Using machine learning, it’s testing in the US.
Video podcasts are coming later this year in Spotify, for Anchor podcasters. Video is already available for some shows, including Joe Rogan. The product is “to complement their audio with visual”.
Q&A adds interactivity to podcasts, allowing listeners to ask or answer questions. Polls allow quick surveys of your listeners. It will work inside both Spotify and Anchor. You can sign up for the waitlist.
“The goal of these features are to build on top of the existing audio experience. Not to prevent listening and innovation outside of Spotify, but to create experiences that are only possible because Spotify’s podcasting ecosystem contains both the creation and the listening technology,” said Michael Mignano.
Spotify is to launch in more than 80 additional countries. It almost doubles the amount of markets that Spotify is present in, covering more than 1bn potential new listeners. Podcasts will be “in the majority” of these new markets. It brings the coverage to more than 170 countries: there are around 195 countries in total.
The Boss and The Boss: Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen will host Renegades: Born In The USA, a new show that is exclusive to Spotify. Obama and Springsteen will explore topics of race, fatherhood, marriage, and the future of America. Dollar Shave Club and Comcast sponsor it in the US: in Australia, McDonald’s, known as “Macca’s”, is sponsor.
Also from Obama’s Higher Ground podcast company, a new season of Tell Them, I Am, hosted by Misha Euceph, was announced for Ramadan - promising “a compelling collection of narratives from Muslim voices”. The show was previously produced by KPCC: Euceph had said she “doesn’t own a single percent of the show”, and had railed against KPCC to “give us our shows back”. The new season will be on the same Apple Podcasts ID, suggesting that KPCC has reached an agreement.
Spotify has signed an agreement with film-makers The Russo Brothers (Captain America, Avengers) and their company AGBO.
Spotify also announced a number of new features for music.
- Spotify HiFi is coming later this year, a lossless audio upgrade for Premium users.
- “Marquee” allows musicians to buy advertising on the platform in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland; and a self-service buying experience is coming to the US
- Labels will also be able to “have a say in our algorithmic recommendations”.
- “Daily Mix” will be expanded to offer more algorithmically generated mixes.
- The company paid out more than $5 billion to rights holders in 2020.
Michael Mignano, the co-founder of Anchor and Head of the Podcaster Mission at Spotify, will be interviewed on the next Podland podcast on Thursday.
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