Just a couple of months after rolling out video podcasts and charts for its most popular podcasts, Spotify has yet another podcasting feature to unveil: polls. Spotify says its new polling feature for podcasts is a test, and that it will roll out for "most" Spotify users starting today, while all Spotify users will get the feature shortly thereafter. The new polls appear directly in the Spotify app, either on the relevant podcast episode page or on the "Now Playing" screen. The questions and answers will come from the actual podcasters. A sample question from The Rewatchables is "Which of these is the best Fincher film?," with the answers ranging from Se7en and Fight Club to Zodiac and The Social Network.
The iPod Shuffle-like Mighty launched last year, giving users offline access to their Spotify playlists. But missing so far has been the ability to sync the podcasts you follow on the music streaming service to Mighty. Well no longer, because Mighty has now released an update that will let you do just that. If you follow a podcast on Spotify, it will now show up in the Mighty app. Just head to Browse, then Podcasts, then click the series you want to listen to.
And one that pleased investors initially, sending Spotify's stock price up 5% before a broad-based tech selloff pushed the shares back down into the red by the end of trading Monday. Spotify is still up more than 11% since the start of the year and about 138% over the past 12 months, well outperforming other hot streaming names such as Netflix and Disney. Shares of Warner Music Group, which as one of the world's largest record labels controls some of the most sought-after music Spotify's subscribers listen to, have actually lost about 4% so far this year. Opportunities beyond music streaming are a key draw for Spotify's investors right now. The stock's big surge over the past year has mostly come from hype over new podcast deals, with the likes of Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian and DC Comics.
Spotify has made a serious commitment to podcasts over the last few years, and today the streaming service is debuting its newest tool for listeners in the US, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Australia. Like the company does for music, Spotify will now offer charts that rank the most popular shows based on audience and the biggest trending selections. They're called Top Podcasts and Trending Podcasts, and they'll be easy to find under Browse Podcasts Podcast Charts on both iOS and Android. Top Podcasts will keep tabs on the "overall most popular podcasts" based on "recent listener numbers." Spotify says it will update the list monthly so that it remains accurate.
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.