Spotify has been testing “video podcasts” since May, and now it is going all in on the marriage between audio and video. The company today announced it is unveiling the first version of its new video podcast feature with select podcasts. It will allow listeners in the U.S. and all other markets where Spotify distributes podcasts to listen or watch those podcasts as the feature rolls out — whichever they choose.
The seven podcasts that will be available in either audio or video include Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, The Misfits Podcast, H3 Podcast, The Morning Toast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay and The Rooster Teeth Podcast.
The option to watch a video will be available for either mobile app users or people on a desktop. Spotify says the creator-made videos will start automatically and sync immediately with the audio feed. If they opt to use the video feed, they will be able to “lock” the play feature so as they jump between apps the video won’t stop playing. Spotify also says users will still be able to download the audio to their mobile devices to listen to shows on the go.
Spotify started to bridge the gap in the May, when it began testing video-based podcasts with YouTube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar. For half the people who watched their Zane & Heath: Unfiltered podcast on its platform, the video version was played, not the audio-only file. The three-episode test was being conducted worldwide. Spotify is already serving music videos to users for some songs.