Spotify earlier this year began beta testing new features to make podcasts more interactive through the use of listener polls and Q&As. Today, the company says these features will become publicly available to all creators through its podcast creation app, Anchor.
To use the new options, creators who publish and distribute using Anchor will be able to post a question or poll alongside their episode. At present, Anchor supports adding just one poll and one Q&A to an individual episode, not several.
When the podcast is published on Spotify, the polls and Q&As will appear at the bottom of the podcast’s episode page on the Spotify mobile app, both iOS and Android. Listeners can then follow the prompt to respond to the poll or Q&A in the app.
After responding to the poll, listeners will immediately be able to view how the rest of the podcast audience voted so they can see how their own answers stacked up. But their Q&A responses are delivered privately to the podcaster. The podcast creator can choose to pin specific responses that will appear publicly below the question. These will display the listener’s Spotify username, so the feature should be used with that in mind. In other words, this feature is the podcast equivalent of the radio call-in — except it’s not live or recorded audio from the listener, it’s text.
These features have been in testing before today’s public launch with hundreds of creators throughout the year. During this time, the company says creators have used Q&As to ask for suggestions for future guests, get feedback about topic choice and format, and add gamification elements to their programs, where listeners are encouraged to return to hear what the hosts say about the listeners’ response.
The new features are now being made available to any Anchor creators and Spotify users in 160 markets around the world. This is not Spotify’s entire global footprint, which is today 178 markets, per its website. But it is a large majority.
Interactivity is just one way that Spotify has been working to revamp the traditional podcast experience. The company has also rolled out paid podcast subscriptions, a combined “Music + Talk” show format and an app for hosting “live” shows, called Spotify Greenroom.