Spotify’s New Podcast Format Adds Music to the Mix


PodMov Daily: Thursday, October 15

Episode 307: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Spotify's New Podcast Format Adds Music to the Mix

Spotify has launched a new podcast format that combines music and talk content. Using Anchor, podcasters can now create shows that combine their own recordings with full-length songs from Spotify’s library. The platform is positioning itself as a (yes, exclusive) solution to music copyright restrictions.

According to the announcement, “Shows using this format are exclusive to Spotify because they rely on Spotify’s music catalog licenses and compensate musicians and songwriters just like any regular stream of a music track.” Podcasters can monetize as well by inserting their own ads per Anchor’s guidelines.

Keeping Anchor-created episodes on Spotify incentivizes both podcasters and listeners to subscribe and stay. “During the beta period, episodes containing music will undergo a review process before being published,” Anchor says. We bet — surely its podcast piracy problem has been a learning experience.

Where are Creators in Podcasting's Power Dynamics?

In Evo Terra’s Podcast Pontifications, the podcaster, author, and radio broadcaster expresses that podcasting’s power dynamics are far removed from creators: “For a DIY, creator-first, indie-friendly medium as podcasting is, it’s shocking how little control you, the podcaster, have over the podcasting experience.”

Terra argues that the nature of podcast hosting and distribution works against creator autonomy. “Unless you’re one of the vanishingly small podcasters who self-host, you likely upload your mastered .mp3 file to your podcast hosting company,” he says. Beyond that point, podcasters have little say.

“While I do think we’re outclassed by the true power hosting companies and listening apps have over the podcasting process, we’re not without options,” Terra says. To influence growing issues like privacy and security of listener data, independent podcasters “need to choose what kind of minor role we’re going to play.”

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Finder’s fee: Google Podcasts Manager has added a feature that shows podcasters how listeners discover their content through Search. Users can see impressions and clicks for Google Podcasts results, as well as top episodes and search terms that led to their podcast.
  • Off campus: The NPR Student Podcast Challenge is back, with an exciting addition. SPC: College Edition invites students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to submit episodes. This secondary contest runs alongside the event for middle and high schoolers.
  • Lawyer up: Misha Euceph, a PM Virtual keynote speaker, is a leading voice in podcast IP negotiation. For KCRW's Independent Producer Project, Euceph poses key questions for creators to consider when making a deal, from ownership and control to compensation.
  • Free speech: According to the latest Spoken Word Audio Report, the share of time spent listening to spoken word audio in the U.S. has risen 8% in the last year. The highest levels of growth are being driven by women, African-Americans, Latinos, and those under 35.

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