In the slew of announcements during Spotify’s “Stream On” presentation Monday, the company seemed to recognize the natural affinity between podcasting and blogging. In our view, podcasting has followed a maturation curve similar to that of blogging in the aughts of the 2000s. Both media categories have a low barrier to entry, and at the amateur and semi-pro creator level engage mainly in self-expression. Spotify’s new agreement with WordPress.com, which leverages Spotify’s Anchor podcasting platform, bridges the two realms.
The new feature starts on the WordPress side, where bloggers can use a new, automated process to turn blog posts into podcast episodes. This is accomplished via a hookup with Anchor, where text-to-speech technology transforms written text into AI-narrated speech. Then, naturally, the new podcast and future blog-to-audio episodes are hosted and distributed to Anchor.
Bloggers may also use Anchor in the traditional manner, by voicing their own podcast episodes. but the automation will doubtless appeal to some writers who don’t want to engage with any particulars of audio production.
The appeal for bloggers is twofold. First, a massive expansion of reach to Spotify’s addressable audience which will number over one-billion listeners when an expansion to 80 new regions is accomplished. Second, a couldn’t-be-easier on-ramp to podcasting, a natural extension of self-expression. As Spotify voices in a promo video to WordPress bloggers: “You have ideas. Geniusly crafted, beautifully expressed ideas. right now they live on your WordPress blog … what if your ideas could travel further?” (See the video below.)
The appeal to Spotify is an influx of more podcasts from Anchor, which provided 80% of new shows in Spotify during 2020.
We now await WordPress to create the reverse equation: making one-click blog posts from podcasts. Automating the creation of an entire blog from a podcast series would be a meaningful extension of a podcast brand.