Spotify has launched a new multimedia format called Spotlight. It allows content creators to add visual layers to their audio streams – anything from news to podcasts. Visual layers can also include videos and text.
For its launch, the audio streaming giant has partnered with BuzzFeed News, Genius, Gimlet Media, Lenny Letter, Cheddar, Refinery29, Minefield Girl and Crooked Media. It will use the new format to complement its own productions Rise, Secret Genius, the Spotify Singles and Viva Latino podcasts.
“We are excited to launch Spotlight, a new format that merges great storytelling, news, information and opinion with visual elements all delivered in playlist form across a number of content categories,” explains Courtney William Holt, head of studios and video at Spotify. “Playlists play an important role in the daily lives of our users, bringing them closer to the creators they love.”
Spotlight is being added to relevant individual playlists for content providers. However, the company chose to remain tight-lipped about whether Spotlights could feature ads. If sounds practically made for advertising.
Matt Lieber, co-founder and president of Gimlet Media, said:
“We’re excited to see partners like Spotify investing in podcasting to enhance the audience’s experience of our storytelling. Everything at Gimlet begins with audio, and with Spotlight, through new visual expressions of shows, we hope to reach new listeners in fresh and original ways.”
For now, the format is only available in the US. However, Spotify has plans to launch it in other markets soon.
“It feels like a generation ago that MTV News delivered the latest to a whole generation of music fans, but it’s not hard to imagine BuzzFeed News and Spotify doing the same in 2018,” said Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News. “We’re incredibly excited to bring together our award-winning audio team, world-class journalism, and Spotify’s massive, dynamic platform to get listeners up to speed every morning. I can’t wait to see this project get off the ground next week and grow along with the future of news.”