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Spotify Goes Global with Its Music + Talk Format

The Swedish digital music streaming service Spotify has established itself as a music industry giant

The Swedish digital music streaming service Spotify has established itself as a music industry giant and disruptor with over 381 million monthly active users in September 2021. Today, the company further consolidates its leading position by making its radio DJ-ing experience available to creators worldwide. 

What Is Spotify’s Music + Talk?

Spotify’s “Music + Talk” is exactly what the name suggests. It blends music and spoken word content, giving creators the tools to produce their own radio shows. All they have to do is access the “Music” feature in the free podcasting software Anchor. Spotify acquired Anchor in 2019, intending to establish itself in the podcasting industry. The Music tool in Anchor enables creators to insert any songs of Spotify’s 70 million tracks catalog into their spoken-word program. 

Creators don’t need to deal with licensing or purchasing royalty free music. Just like on the general Spotify platform, artists and copyright holders will be compensated any time one of their tracks is streamed in the Music + Talk format. The shows themselves will be available to Spotify Premium subscribers. Listeners with a free plan will only hear a 30-second preview of the song. Just like they could in traditional playlists, all listeners can like, save, and share tracks, and view more information about the songs and artists.

Spotify’s Global Ripple

Spotify has been testing its Music + Talk format since last fall in select countries, including the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. So far, thousands of Music + Talk shows have been created in those markets alone. Now, Spotify will roll out the format to 15 new markets across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, including Japan, India, the Philippines, Germany, France, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. 

Spotify will promote the adoption of the new format by offering tips and ideas for creators in a Spotify Original mini series called “Music + Talk: Unlocked”. 

Spotify Music + Talk vs. Pandora Stories

Spotify’s music + Talk is similar to Pandora Stories. Just like Music + Talk, Pandora stories enables creators to curate playlists from the Pandora catalog and annotate them with so-called voice tracks. However, Pandora focused these voice tracks to be messages from the artists or creators themselves, commenting on their own music. Spotify takes the spoken-word comments more to a radio DJ context, where anyone can annotate and enrich their music selection.

The Music + Talk format adds a social aspect to the platform, with user generated content that will hopefully reproduce the success of YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch creators and give users more reasons to join or connect to the Spotify platform.