Spotify launches podcast comments to enhance interactions

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Spotify has unveiled a new interactive feature, podcast comments, aimed at fostering deeper engagement between listeners and creators.

Starting this week, listeners can leave comments on episode pages that support the feature, marking a significant move to cultivate community interaction within the platform.

This latest addition positions Spotify in direct competition with platforms like YouTube, where creators actively engage with their audiences. It follows Spotify’s expansion into video podcasts, initially tested in 2021 and fully launched in 2022. Currently, the platform boasts over 250,000 video podcasts, indicating a growing multimedia approach to content consumption.

The introduction of podcast comments aligns with Spotify’s strategy to offer more interactive features for podcasts, such as polls and Q&As, introduced in 2021. The company reports that 9 million listeners have engaged with these interactive tools in 2024, marking an 80% increase year-over-year.

According to internal data from Spotify, users who engage with interactive podcast features are significantly more likely to return to a show within 30 days and consume twice as much content compared to non-engaging listeners.

The desire for more ways to connect with hosts was echoed by over 70% of podcast listeners, prompting the development of the comments feature.

However, to maintain a balance between creative expression and safety, Spotify is rolling out the comments feature cautiously. Maya Prohovnik, VP of Podcast Product at Spotify, emphasized the importance of giving creators control over their content and ensuring high-quality conversations.

Initially, the rollout will be gradual, starting with podcasts that have opted into displaying comments. Over the coming month, all Spotify users will gain access to the feature. Creators will have the ability to enable or disable comments on a per-episode basis, curate approved comments, and engage directly with their audience through likes and replies.

While the initial focus is on manual moderation, Spotify is exploring scalable solutions for comment management. The platform is testing automated systems to streamline the process while upholding community guidelines.

Looking ahead, Spotify is considering ways to monetize the comments feature by identifying and rewarding loyal fans, similar to YouTube’s Super Chat and Super Stickers. This move reflects Spotify’s broader strategy to support all podcasters and enhance listener interaction through innovative features.

As Spotify evolves its podcasting ecosystem, Prohovnik emphasizes its commitment to empowering creators and enhancing user engagement, positioning Spotify as a comprehensive platform for podcast discovery and community interaction.

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