A few months ago, Spotify introduced a new format that combined spoken commentary with music, allowing creators to replicate the radio experience of listening to a DJ or music journalist share their perspective on the tracks they would later play. Now, the company is making the format, which it calls “Music + Talk,” available to global creators through its Anchor podcasting software.
Creators who want to offer this type of combined audio experience can now do so using the new “Music” tool in Anchor, which provides access to Spotify’s entire catalog of 70 million tracks that they can insert into their spoken word audio programs. Spotify said that this new type of program will continue to compensate the artist when the track is streamed, just as it would elsewhere on the Spotify platform. In addition, users can also interact with the music content within the programs as they would otherwise: by liking the song, viewing more information about the track, saving the song or sharing it, for example.
Meanwhile, the programs themselves will be available to Spotify’s free and premium listeners. Paying subscribers will hear the full tracks when listening to these shows, but free users will only hear the 30-second preview of the songs, due to licensing fees.
The format is somewhat reminiscent of Pandora’s Stories, which was also a combination of music and podcasting, introduced in 2019, while Spotify allows anyone to annotate their favorite playlists with audio commentary.
Since its launch last year, the product was tweaked a bit in response to user feedback. Shows now offer a clearer visual distinction between music and conversation segments during an episode, and include music previews on episode pages. To date, creators produced “tens of thousands” of programs using the format, the company said, but without providing exact numbers at this time.
The ability to create Music + Talk programs was previously available in select markets prior to this global launch, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
With the expansion, creators in other major markets are now gaining access, including Japan, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Along with the expansion, Spotify’s catalog of original Music + Talk shows will also grow, with new shows being added from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, India, Japan and the Philippines.
Spotify will also begin heavily marketing the feature with the launch of its own Spotify Original called “Music + Talk: Unlocked,” which will offer tips and ideas for creators interested in trying the format.