Anchor’s new feature lets listeners leave voice messages for podcast hosts

February’s acquisition of Anchor was a savvy move on Spotify’s behalf. It’s a clever and rapidly growing company that will help the music service get a big leg up in its bid to build its podcast operation. From the looks of it, however, the big buy-out isn’t making Anchor complacent when it comes to building out its own offerings.

The startup has done a fine job providing tools designed to further lower the bar of entry for podcasting. Anchor’s latest feature is an interesting addition on that front. Voice Messages is designed to offer listeners a way to offer spoken feedback to show hosts.

As the company notes, the feature previously required users to have the Anchor app. The newly revamped feature now lets them record feedback by clicking a link on a show’s Anchor profile and leaving up to a minute-long note. Once finished, a notification will be sent to the host, with the audio file accessible through either the Anchor app or dashboard. From there, they can be added directly to the show using the Episode Builder.

Notably, listeners need to sign up and log in to leave a message. Anchor says this is an attempt to cut down on anonymity — and, one assumes, lend a little accountability by associating the message with a real person.

The feature’s already been available for select podcasts, including Casey Neistat & Candace Poole’s Couples Therapy, and Popular Science’s The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week. It’s now available to all Anchor users looking for ways to drive listener engagement. It’s a nice addition for an intimate medium that too often tends to be a one-way street.