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Spotify Spotlight: What Is It and How Does It Work?


Have you heard Spotify’s latest news concerning Spotlight, it’s brand new multimedia format that adds a visual element to what you listen? No problem, here’s what you need to know.

Spotify Spotlight: What Is It?

Get your music streaming devices ready because earlier this month and ahead of its upcoming IPO, Spotify launched Spotlight, its brand new multimedia format that introduces visual layers to complement the listening experience for podcasts, audiobooks, news, and other audio content. This sounds a bit cryptic, so let’s break it down a bit. In essence, Spotify is giving us contextual visual elements that go with whatever you’re listening to, whether it’s an audiobook, playlist, song and so on:

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… Playlists play an important role in the daily lives of our users bringing them closer to the creators they love.” – Courtney William Holt, Head of Studios and Video, Spotify

Spotify Spotlight: How Does It Work?

Think of Spotlight like a visual helper for whatever audio you’re consuming. For example, you may be listening to a true crime podcast that mentions a specific creepy looking location. Before Spotlight, you would have to either let your imagination take the reins or do a Google search for said location. With Spotlight in tow, things are different — a picture or video of the location could appear as the podcaster mentions it. As it is, apart from music and podcasts, you’ll currently find it for content categories like pop culture, politics, news and sports. And as time passes by, more and more support for alternate categories will be implemented.

Anyway, this visually enhanced audio will supplement the listening experience with photos, videos or text, and functions to add another layer to Spotify’s content. As for where the content is coming from, Spotlight’s launch will be paired with content from Spotify partners like BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted. Apart from their partners, Spotify will also feature content from its own original series such as RISE, Secret Genius, Spotify Singles and the new Viva Latino podcast.

Before moving forward, let’s take a look at what some of Spotify’s partners have to say:

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. 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.” – Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed News

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.” – Matt Lieber, Co-founder and President, Gimlet Media

Uninterrupted is creating new and innovative ways for athletes to connect with their fans through authentic, insightful, and entertaining content they can’t get anywhere else. How we watch, enjoy and engage with the content created by great athletes on and off the floor is rapidly changing. Spotify is an incredible partner for Uninterrupted. Their Spotlight platform becomes an entirely new and creative way for Uninterrupted to help tell the best stories in sports.” – Maverick Carter, CEO, Uninterrupted

Final Thoughts

Spotify’s Spotlight is adding a whole new dimension to your listening experience. Want to partake? And don’t worry, it’s quite simple — just get some music streaming devices like those from HEOS by Denon that support streaming from Spotify and get listening (and watching)!

Enjoy Spotify Spotlight!


Author Bio

Ellen Parker, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, writes articles on consumer electronics, home audio systems, audio industry trends, home entertainment solutions, useful tips, and tricks. Her writing has appeared internationally in various print and Web-based venues.

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