August 9, 2017:Spotify desktop design-tweak boosts podcasts and videos

Spotify is rolling out a design tweak for its desktop app’s menu bar, which gives podcasts and videos more prominence for listeners.

All users of the desktop app will now see podcasts as one of the options under ‘Your Library’ alongside their Daily Mix, Recently Played, Songs, Albums, Artists, Stations and Local Files.

Spotify told Music Ally that in “designated markets” there will also be a Videos option under ‘Your Library’. We’ve got it, so the UK is clearly one of those markets.

In this context, the Podcasts and Videos options will lead to series that people have followed on Spotify. Another design tweak rolling out today is the addition of the two content categories to the menu bar at the top of the ‘Browse’ section of Spotify, to help people find new series.

Spotify desktop

The tweaks don’t quite mirror Spotify’s mobile app, where there’s a combined ‘Podcasts & Videos’ option under ‘Your Library’.

The changes are relatively small, but they reflect Spotify’s cautious progress towards becoming more of a general entertainment service, housing a catalogue of spoken-word content as well as short-form video shows.

Spotify first signalled its video intentions in May 2015, signing up content from a number of multi-channel networks (MCNs). The feature launched in early 2016.

However, the company’s emphasis has since shifted towards commissioning its own shows focusing on music, under the leadership of former VH1 president Tom Calderone.

Its first slate of original shows was announced in May 2016, including Drawn & Recorded, Rush Hour (since renamed as Traffic Jams), and Landmark. The streaming service has also recently added video segments to its hip-hop playlist RapCaviar, including interviews with artists and behind-the-scenes footage.

As for podcasts, they’ve been part of Spotify for a while now, including some produced by its original-content division. However, they’ve had a relatively low profile.

This may be changing. Bloomberg reported last month that Spotify is planning a new push with podcasts, including funding a new batch of originals in the coming months.

Stuart Dredge
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