As much as podcasts are the new radio talk shows, they’ve always been a bit.. one-sided. Your favourite podcaster(s) talk(s) and you listen. There’s not a whole lot of room for community engagement as a podcast is going on. At least on radio shows you can sometimes call in to share your thoughts and opinions. Well, Spotify wants to get its listeners involved, and is adding new Q & A and poll features to its podcasts.
Spotify wants you to have your say
The feature is integrated as of yesterday, the 30th of September, also known as International Podcast Day. Fitting. It’s currently available to 160 of Spotify’s 178 markets around the world, and will presumably expand to those further 18 in due course.
Functionally, it looks very similar to Instagram’s take on polls and questions through Stories, though perhaps this version is slightly more extensive. If a podcast creator has chosen to poll or quiz their listeners, they’ll be able to find the poll/question at the bottom of the episode page in the Spotify iOS or Android app. Browser and desktop versions are currently not supported.
If a listener responds to a poll, they’ll see the current results of the poll after they select their answer. For Q & As, answers will be delivered privately to podcasters, who can then pin specific responses to appear for subsequent listeners to see below the original question block. They’re both simple but effective ways for audiences to engage with their favourite content creators, and vice versa.
“We believe the future of podcasting is interactive,” reads an official Spotify announcement. “For too long, podcasting has been hindered by one-directional technology and a lack of format innovation. By building interactive functionality directly into our creation platform, Anchor, we’re able to break this mould and power more unique uses for audio.”