Spotify’s Anchor Adds Voice Messages to Make Podcasts Truly Social
“You’re never podcasting alone,” Anchor says, and their latest update seeks to make the podcast creation process more communal.
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The era of answering your favorite podcast host’s questions by shouting into the ether is over.
Spotify’s recently acquired Anchor hasn’t stopped innovating since it was bought by the streaming giant earlier this year. And their latest feature aims to make podcasting truly social: a streamlined, accessible Voice Messages feature. “We’ve never thought about podcasting as a one-way street,” the company’s announcement opened, “but it’s always been a technical challenge to incorporate this sense of community into your show.” Voice Messages, an easy way to solicit the voice of listeners, is their solution to the challenge.
Viewers wishing to answer the call of hosts, either to address questions they posed or share feedback on recent episodes, “can leave voice messages right from any browser (even on mobile!), via any podcast app, without having to download the Anchor app.” And for podcast hosts who want to incorporate these voices, the Episode Builder function will make these recordings easy to access and add to the producer’s final product. Whether hosts choose to use it to create a Q&A-style episode, share the wide scope of listeners they have, or allow users to weigh in on forthcoming changes or topics to the series, Anchor “[believes] getting interactive with your audience opens up countless avenues for creativity.”
Lest creators worry that such input could become unwieldy, Anchor has a few limits in place. First, Voice Messages cannot exceed one minute in length. Secondly (and crucially), Voice Messages cannot be sent anonymously. “Senders will need to sign up or login to an Anchor account in order to send a message,” the company warns, “so you can see who is coming from.” This measure not only creates a connection between hosts and listeners and encourages those who want input to sign up with Anchor, but creates a sense of accountability to the words you share in this intimate capacity.
Select podcasts, including Casey Neistat & Candace Poole’s Couples Therapy, and Popular Science’s The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week, have had the Voice Message capability, but the full capacity is being deployed this week. In the ongoing battle to make podcasting more social, Anchor’s latest update creates a crucial breach in the wall between hosts and listeners.
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