Spotify wants to make it easier for podcasters and listeners to interact. Today, it's launching Polls, a new feature that will allow podcasters to ask questions directly in the app. When listeners respond, they'll see how their answers stack up against others. Podcasters have full control over the questions they ask. They might, for instance, create a poll to see who the next guest should be or get input on a debate that came up in an episode.
Popular music streaming service Spotify is expanding its portfolio. As the podcast industry continues to grow its audience, Spotify's announcement Wednesday its purchase of the podcast-focused company promises broaden Spotify's content with sports and pop culture podcasts. "We look forward to putting the full power of Spotify behind The Ringer as they drive our global sports strategy," said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer, Spotify. Translate this:How real-time translation breaks down barriers when you don't speak the language The Ringer, founded by Bill Simmons in 2016, features more than 30 podcasts, such as "The Bill Simmons Podcast," "The Rewatchables" and "The Ryen Russilio Podcast". "While it is unclear if the Ringer's current podcast series will remain available on other platforms, new podcast series will likely be exclusive to Spotify," says eMarketer analyst Eric Haggstrom.
Spotify's ever-growing podcast empire got another boost today: The company announced that Mark and Jay Duplass have signed on with the company to create exclusive podcasts. If you don't know them, the Duplass brothers are actors, writers and producers who've had their hands in many high-profile projects over the last few years, though summing up their influence isn't easy. Most recently, Mark has appeared in The Morning Show on Apple TV; he also wrote and starred in the Netflix film Paddleton last year. Jay, meanwhile, was a regular on Transparent on Amazon for its entire run and has also been writer and executive producer on multiple recent TV series and films. As for what content the brothers will be producing under their Duplass Brothers Productions banner, it's unclear outside of both scripted and unscripted podcasts.
Taking aim at Spotify's growing podcast empire, Amazon Music just unleashed its own flood of free podcasts, including upcoming and exclusive shows from the likes of DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, and Dan Patrick. Amazon Music's new podcasts arrived today in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan. Amazon Music users on all subscription tiers, including its free service, will be able to play podcasts. Many of the most popular cross-platform podcasts are now available on Amazon Music, including Crime Junkie, What A Day, Radiolab, Revisionist History, Planet Money, Ear Hustle, Why Won't You Date Me? With Nicole Byer, and Stuff You Should Know.
Apple will soon no longer let users "subscribe" to podcasts. Instead, podcast fans will "follow" their favorite shows. This change to Apple Podcasts will roll out with the release of iOS 14.5. However, the next iOS update beta, where users can currently see the change, is currently available. The switch from "subscribe" to "follow" in Apple Podcasts was first noticed by PodNews, an outlet that reports on the podcasting industry.