If you’ve ever wished podcast episodes were easier to navigate through, Spotify is working on a new format that does just that. Starting today, the company is testing shows that are organized like playlists. Instead of one track that plays for each episode, they’ll be divided up as a combination of music and spoken segments. There’s no fancy name for the format, but Spotify is making it available to all Anchor users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland — even during the beta phase.
Anchor is an all-in-one production suite for podcasts. Acquired by Spotify in 2019, the company had already built a simple app that allows creators of all skill levels to record, distribute and monetize podcasts from any device. It’s also free. Since then, Anchor has introduced new features like the ability to convert video calls into episodes. In tandem with Spotify, it also tested a “create podcast” button inside the main streaming app. Now Anchor and Spotify will allow you to add any song from the service’s library as part of your show.
The simplified, drag-and-drop-style interface does have its limitations, but that’s kind of the point with Anchor. With the new podcast format, creators can search for songs and add them to any episode of a show. Of course, they can easily reorder the tracks and recorded segments as needed. And most importantly, they can pull in any pop hit without having to worry about potential copyright issues. Once published, you as a listener can interact with the songs just like any other music on Spotify. You can like, save and access detailed info about each track — all without having to leave a show’s page or manually search for it the old fashioned way. To see the episode organized as a playlist, all you have to do is tap on one from the show page or hit the player bar at the bottom of the screen after you’ve started one. You can then hop around the different segments and songs, saving them to your own library and playlists if you find something you like. Premium subscribers will hear full tracks during episodes of the shows, but free users will only get a 30-second preview.