A new announcement from Spotify has gotten the digital news industry buzzing. The company confirmed this morning that it’s partnering with WordPress and launching a tool that content creators, including bloggers and independent news publishers, can use to automatically publish written content as podcasts. Spotify’s partnership with WordPress opens up the door to podcasting for a huge group of publishers who’ve focused solely on written formats up until this point.
Bloggers, journalists, and other content creators will soon be able to turn written text and webpages into audio, and add video to their existing podcasts. They will also have access to new interactive features, including Q&As and polls. Podcasters will only be able to add video and other interactive elements to their podcasts when they publish via Spotify’s podcast creation app, Anchor.
With podcasts quickly growing in popularity over the past few years, it makes sense that digital publishers would want to get in on the action. Podcasts now reach more than 100 million Americans each month, according to data from Edison Research. Spotify’s partnership with WordPress could make it infinitely easier for established publishers to add podcasts to their lineup.
Here’s what we know about Spotify’s partnership with WordPress right now:
- Spotify has been testing its interactivity features with a small beta group of creators for months.
- Content creators can sign up now to express interest in participating.
- In addition to using automated text-to-voice tools, publishers can also record audio voice recordings themselves to distribute from their WordPress.com websites to platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and others.
- Spotify is still looking to add even more podcast enhancements in the future.
How It Will Work
Publishers that use the WordPress platform now have a few different options for creating podcasts from their articles. The first option available is direct text-to-speech. This feature works similarly to automated audio transcription. Just go to Anchor’s WordPress.com account linking site to convert the text on any page into an audio podcast. The text-to-speech feature is completely free. Publishers can convert any new pages and posts they’ve published on a WordPress.com site.
Publishers who want to showcase their own voices, or the voices of their writers and editors, can read a transcript of their articles and import the audio file directly into Anchor. This is a more manual process, but it’s still relatively easy following the steps outlined by Anchor.
In a blog post, WordPress’ reps say the amount of work it takes to create a podcast will be “surprisingly minimal.” They say that content creators with written work already have a leg up, since they’re not starting from scratch developing the content for their podcasts.
To learn more about how local news publishers are generating revenue from branded podcasts, click here.