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Spotify Launches New Audio Experience Combining Music and Talk Content

October 14, 2020

Everyone loves both a great playlist and a highly engaging conversation. Today, we’re beginning to test a new listening experience that brings together music and spoken-word content in an easy and elegant package, allowing full songs and talk commentary to live together wrapped up in one show. 

With this new feature, listeners have even more ways to discover and connect with music from their favorite (and future favorite) artists. Read on for the full details on how to listen, which shows you can hear now, and how to make a show yourself.

How it works

Think of your favorite drive-time radio show, that music journalist whose insights help you appreciate a band’s leap forward, a DJ whose perspective makes that next track hit perfectly. 

Now imagine that you’re able to enjoy that perfect blend of music and commentary whenever and wherever you want, interactively and on demand. With shows that use this new format, listeners can interact with the music within the episodes, in the same way they interact with all other song tracks on Spotify (for example liking, saving, and reading more information about a track) without having to leave the episode page or search for it manually.

For any episode of a show with music, hit “Explore Episode” on the episode page, or tap the play bar at the bottom of the screen to pull up the episode track list. From there, you can skip around to different segments and songs and save songs for future listening.

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 on Spotify. Spotify Premium listeners will hear full tracks as part of these shows, and those with the Free tier will hear 30-second music previews.

Where to start listening

To showcase the potential for creativity with this new show format, today we’re launching seven Spotify Original Shows that use the feature. Each explores a different aspect of music, from the stories and inspiration behind a song to the listening trends of a decade or genre. 

All of our Spotify Original Shows can be found in the “Shows with Music” hub in Browse, or in a programmed shelf on your Home tab. Ready to experience the future of audio? Get started with one of these:

Plus … you can make one yourself

Creators have long wanted a way to highlight the music they love and spread the word about their favorite artists. To empower an ecosystem of these new shows, Spotify is also making it possible for anyone to create their own—by today rolling out tooling in Anchor.

The new format solves a variety of limitations previously inherent to audio creation and distribution, which have never before been able to leverage the power of music streaming. For creators, it will now be possible to leverage licensed music in an easy, fair way. Creation tooling is available for Anchor users in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. To get started, check out Anchor’s blog post with all the details.

We’ve heard for years that listeners want an easy way to discover and save the music that’s incorporated into their favorite podcasts. This new show format provides a listening experience that answers these requests, breaking the confines of the traditional podcast structure: this is an entirely new way to stream audio.