Spotify’s Stream On event was jam-packed with information and news about the streaming service.
If you want to take an hour and a bit, you can watch the full show below on YouTube, but if you’d rather skim through some of the more notable updates, then keep reading.
80 new markets
One of the biggest announcements for Spotify is that it’s coming to 80 more new countries in the coming weeks. This will add 36 different languages to the platform and is the company’s largest expansion to date.
Spotify says that these 80 new markets represent over 1 billion people who could become Spotify listeners over the next few years.
This means that Spotify is available in a little over 170 countries worldwide.
Spotify has finally given in to audiophiles worldwide and will bring a lossless subscription tier to its service later this year.
You can find out more about it in our announcement story, though the new subscription tier’s Canadian pricing remains unknown.
Obama and The Boss
Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are taking their friendship to the next level by starting a podcast together.
The show is called ‘Renegades: Born in the USA’ and consists of an eight-episode season. The first two episodes are available and you can listen to them on Spotify now.
This is the first show from the Obama’s Higher Ground production company and its deal with Spotify, so we should expect to see more from the power couple in the future as well.
New podcast formats incoming
In what seems like an effort to make podcasts more interesting, Spotify will soon offer creators additional tools.
One interesting new feature allows WordPress content creators to publish written content as a podcast on Spotify.
In the Spotify app, users will soon start seeing new interactive elements during some shows. This could include polls, Q&A text boxes and more. This is really cool and suggests that Spotify might be aiming to add a more comprehensive back-and-forth section to its app to compete with Clubhouse.
Users that publish their podcasts via Anchor will now be able to upload a video podcast to the streaming platform.
Since it has such high-profile creators like the Obamas, I wouldn’t be surprised if those video episodes stream in very high quality. If you watch the video trailer for Renegades: Born in the USA,’ you’ll see what I mean.
DC Comic podcast stories
Another batch of high-quality story-based podcasts are coming from the DC Comics group, starting with a dark tale about Batman.
You can find out all about the superhero podcasts in our prior report.
Stories come to Spotify
We're introducing new ways for artists to use playlists to share their stories with fans ✨
— Spotify for Artists (@spotifyartists) February 22, 2021
Yep, you read that right. Spotify is adding a feature that’s similar to Instagram and Snapchat Stories.
It’s only available to artists, and it allows users to post a short video to their profile that listeners can watch.
Paid podcast subscriptions in beta
Some podcasters will start testing what happens if they put some shows or channels behind a separate paywall within Spotify. Other pay-walled content could include bonus episodes or interviews, or even ad-free content, according to Spotify.
- The audio streaming giant has created new ways for creators to add audio ads to their podcasts. You can learn more about it here.
- The Russo brothers’ entertainment company, AGBO, has also entered a multi-year deal to tell stores in Spotify’s network. Every Artist can now use Spotify’s ‘Canvas‘ feature to create and share virtual album art. Finally, Podcast searching should get better thanks to machine learning.