Substack is testing a native video player

It's another salvo in the battle to attract and keep creators on the platform.

Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images

Substack is expanding into video with a native player. The feature is currently in private beta, so only a limited number of creators can upload videos directly to a post for now. The newsletter service plans to open up the option to everyone in the coming weeks.

Creators can share videos publicly or only with paid subscribers. Videos will be playable on web versions of posts and they'll appear as clickable images in emails. Substack notes that creators have full ownership of their videos, as with their mailing list and everything else they share on the platform.

Among those who are testing the feature are legendary musician Patti Smith and chef Andrew Zimmern. They highlight the fact that creators will be able to share things like musical performances and step-by-step guided recipes with subscribers without having to rely on third-party services like YouTube or Vimeo. Others might share makeup tutorials, workouts or career advice.

This is the latest in a line of additions to Substack creators' tool chests. The platform introduced a podcast hosting option in 2019 and it expanded to comics last year.

Substack isn't the only membership platform of its ilk with its own video player. Patreon said in November it was building one too. On the flip side, Facebook and Twitter have made a push into newsletters over the last year amid Substack's rise to prominence and the battle to attract and keep creators on their platforms.