Spotify is testing video podcasts, The Verge reported today. According to a source close to the company, Spotify will let two YouTube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar, hosts of Zane and Heath: Unfiltered, upload video to accompany three Spotify podcast episodes. Half of the show’s audience will see the video footage. The source told The Verge that this feature will likely arrive on other podcasts in the near future.
While Spotify hasn’t confirmed the tests, adding video to podcasts makes sense. Spotify already shows looping videos of album artwork, and it recently purchased The Ringer, which has video shows. A few people may remember that Spotify used to have videos, but it canceled them in 2017. One year later, Spotify hinted that it might bring more photos and videos to podcasts, but it has kept quiet about those plans since.
According to The Verge, in the upcoming test, listeners will only know if an episode has video after they tap it. The footage will appear at the bottom of the screen. It will keep playing even if the user locks their phone. Ads will still run, but the video will freeze, and Spotify will not translate videos into other languages.
Demand for content is huge right now with everyone staying home, and podcast-listening habits are changing. So, it will be interesting to see if adding video increases demand and how adding video might impact the app’s performance.
Spotify gave Engadget its standard response: “At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”