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The next big thing in podcasts is talking back

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Vince Major and Michael Tucker, hosts of the podcast Beyond the Screenplay , thought they knew what their audience wanted for their next episode: a deep-dive into Back to the Future — a “no brainer,”says Major. To be sure, though, they decided to poll their listeners. They didn’t go to Patreon, Instagram, Twitter, or the other places creators often chat with their audience. Instead, they went where their listeners already tune into their show, Spotify, and used its new polling tool to ask. The people spoke up — they wanted The Godfather .

“[The polls] kind of just let the podcasting technology catch up in some ways,” Tucker says. “The place where people are actually listening, they can now also participate.” Although the co-hosts only started using these polls within the past year, they say their listeners are taking advantage. They’re talking back.

“Podcasting has always been this sort of one-way street,” says Mike Mignano, head of creation platform at Spotify. “A creator publishes content; the audience listens; that’s it.”

Now, however, interactive elements are making their way into the space. Spotify is giving all its Anchor creators the ability to make polls and Q&As and is testing interactive ads. Other […]

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