From The Verge: Spotify’s newest interactive podcast test brings a popular Instagram feature to the platform: polls. Similarly to Instagram, respondents and hosts can see the poll results in real time, although unlike Instagram, answers are anonymous. You’ll only be able to view the results if you vote.
The company’s testing the feature with certain Spotify-exclusive and original shows, including The Rewatchables and Crime Countdown, starting today. About 90 percent of listeners will see the polls on their iOS or Android app at first, but everyone will gain access eventually. It’s unclear if Spotify will open the feature up to podcasts outside its direct control. You can find polls at the bottom of a show’s episode page or on the episode’s Now Playing page.
This is the second interactive podcast feature Spotify has tested this year. In June, it started testing interactive ads that don’t require listeners to remember promo codes. While, in that case, the feature solved a legitimate problem for listeners and hosts, the polls seem more like a test of whether people will want to interact with an app as they listen. If they do, that could mean endless possibilities for Spotify to give hosts space to interface with their listeners and get more feedback without having to ask them to send an email or tweet at them. It brings the social and audience development part of podcasting directly into Spotify’s app, which could be critical in encouraging hosts to shout out Spotify directly.
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