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Spotify Adds Video Component to Some Podcasts

Spotify launches the tech to compete with YouTube

Spotify added a video component to some of its podcasts on Tuesday in hopes of expanding show audiences and increasing engagement with its content.

Select podcasts get access to video right away, including “Higher Learning With Van Latham and Rachel Lindsay” and “The Rooster Teeth Podcast.” Latham and Lindsay both have on-camera experience — Lindsay was the 2017 Bachelorette and Latham is a former TMZ correspondent. The first video episode of “Higher Learning” is available today.

Other podcasts also expected to get the video treatment are “Book of Basketball 2.0,” “Fantasy Footballers,” “The Misfits Podcast,” “H3 Podcast” and “The Morning Toast.”

“We’re looking forward to introducing our new video podcast feature to consumers and creators globally,” Spotify head of North American content partnerships Lauren Jarvis told TheWrap in an email. “By building upon and enhancing our existing audio experience, listeners can now connect even more meaningfully to their favorite podcast hosts, and creators have the opportunity to expand their viewership and deepen engagement with their fans.”

YouTube already offers this capability, and podcast creators have long been using it as a way to court fringe listeners who are new to the audio-only medium but interested in content.

Spotify recently paid $100 million to exclusively sign Joe Rogan and may plan to use this technology to allow Rogan to continue broadcasting video versions of his podcast — which he currently does on YouTube to the tune of at least 1 million views per show. Rogan begins exclusively broadcasting on Spotify Sept. 1.

Spotify said the creator-made videos will begin automatically playing and synchronize with the viewer’s audio feed after they press play on desktop or mobile. The company also said that users can still download audio-only recordings and noted the videos are designed to play in the background if users just want to listen, similar to tech designed by YouTube.