Back in May, Spotify started testing video podcasts on both mobile and desktop. The podcast creators now had the option to also upload videos accompanying their audio podcasts. Well, it appears like the test yielded positive results as the streaming giant has decided to officially roll out video podcasts worldwide.
You will be able to access video podcasts both on mobile and desktop platforms – no matter you are a free or premium user. So, how do video podcasts playback look like inside Spotify? As you can see below, when you press play on a podcast, you will see the video right away if it’s been uploaded by the creator.
The video will appear above the podcast episode list on desktop. On mobile, the album art is replaced with the video on the ‘Now Playing’ screen. There’s currently no option to completely turn off video podcasts but the mobile app supports background play. This means Spotify will automatically switch to the audio format when you scroll through your discography or text friends. Picture-in-picture support is not present just yet.
Though this is only the first iteration, I have a huge gripe with this feature. Spotify does not label whether an episode is accompanied by a video. There should be a tiny label – similar to the one shown for Lyrics support on mobile. You will need to play an episode and see if the video loads up or not. I wasn’t able to experience video podcasts as it isn’t live both on my mobile or desktop apps.
Initially, the video podcasts are supported only be a select few creators. Spotify lists them in the official blog post and they include the following – Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, The Misfits Podcast, H3 Podcast, The Morning Toast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay, and The Rooster Teeth Podcast. More creators will soon get the option to upload videos to Spotify.
So, you might soon be able to pull users to one single platform to view audio and video versions of your podcast episode instead of juggling between YouTube and Spotify (or Apple, other podcasts services). This freedom should creators more ways to interact or grow their audience on Spotify itself.