- Spotify announced a slew of updates during its virtual “Stream On” event Monday.
- The platform will soon launch new podcasts from Warner Bros, Ava DuVernay, Barack Obama, and more.
- The company also announced subscription service for higher quality audio and new tools for creators.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Spotify announced new podcast partnerships and a subscription service for high-quality streaming on Monday during a virtual event called “Stream On.”
The production was filled with updates about new creator tools, podcast partnerships, and advertising options. It also highlighted several Spotify accomplishments, most notably the upcoming expansion into over 80 new markets and 36 new languages.
Take a look at some of the big highlights from Spotify’s “Stream On,” which helped bump its shares up 6% in trading Monday:
Monday’s updates mostly focused on Spotify’s podcasting segment and creators. But if you’re a Spotify traditionalist that only streams music on the app, you’re still in luck.
Spotify is expanding its customized playlists by adding new Daily Mixes. And later this year, the platform will begin offering “Spotify HiFi,” a subscription service that will offer listeners “CD-quality” audio. According to Spotify, this higher quality audio option has been a hotly requested add-on.
A suite of new podcasts
Spotify has been spearheading the podcasting world head on through notable acquisitions. This includes Megaphone, a podcast advertising company, and networks like Gimlet and The Ringer in recent months. The streaming platform has also penned podcast deals with notable figures like Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama.
Now, Spotify is looking to accelerate its podcast growth even more through a list of newly announced partnerships that span a variety of genres, from narrated superhero tales to stories that amplify Muslim voices.
Last year, Spotify announced a multi-year partnership with Warner Bros and DC to bring beloved comic book characters like Superman, Harley Quinn, and Cat Woman into the podcasting universe. The partnership’s first project, “Batman Unburied,” will be released later this year, Spotify said
Spotify is also now working with AGBO, an entertainment production company founded by Anthony and Joe Russo, the brothers behind hits like “Avengers: End Game” and “Captain America: Civil War.” Now, they’ll be bringing their ideas from the big screen to Spotify’s podcasts through several years and series.
Spotify’s new podcasting partnerships also accommodate non-fiction fans.
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama may be busy with their Higher Ground Productions partnership with Netflix, but that’s not stopping the couple and their production company from launching the second season of the podcast “Tell Them, I Am.”
The podcast, hosted by Misha Euceph, a Pakistani-American, amplifies Muslim voices across all fields, from activists to athletes. The new season will debut the first day of Ramadan.
Higher Ground and Spotify will also be releasing an eight-part series with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. The podcast will focus on their discussions about overarching life topics like personal relationships and the country.
Spotify’s Gimlet has also partnered with filmmaker Ava DuVernay to create a suite of both scripted and unscripted podcasts through DuVernay’s multiplatform group focusing on social causes, Array.
The first series – based on Array’s Law Enforcement Accountability Project – will take a look at cases of police brutality against Black people in the United States, DuVernay said at the event. The podcast will discuss a new case every week by taking a deep dive into the “lack of repercussions and accountability” among police officers.
In other podcasting news, Spotify has also announced the renewal of its “Motherhacker” series. Furthermore, the platform will be globally expanding its podcasts from The Ringer, and will be bringing its Sound Up initiative supporting small podcast creators to 14 countries, up from six.
Updates for creators
Spotify also announced several new initiatives aimed at creators of both podcasts and music.
Spotify and Anchor, a podcast management system, have partnered with WordPress to turn written posts into Spotify podcasts. The streaming platform will also allow some of its podcast creators to integrate features like videos, polls, and question-and-answer forums.
The platform also announced several advertising-related initiatives, including the Spotify Audience Network. When the network is complete, it will serve as a “marketplace” for advertisers to access more listeners tuning in to different types of content, including Spotify Originals and Exclusives, podcasts using Megaphone and Anchor, and “ad-supported” music.
Spotify will also be rolling out its Streaming Ad Insertion, which provides Megaphone and Anchor podcast creators with data and metrics for podcast advertising. In line with this big push in podcast advertising, the platform’s Spotify Ad Studio is now testing ad buying for podcasts as well.