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Spotify Adds Visual Context to Playlists

New “Spotlight” format adds photos, video and text to audio content

A screenshot showing a new Spotlight video in the Viva Latino playlist, as shown on a Samsung Galaxy S8.

It appears Spotify is attempting to capitalize on the visual radio trend. The company announced Thursday that is introducing a new multimedia format, dubbed “Spotlight.”

The new format creates playlists with “visual layers to complement the listening experience for podcasts, audiobooks, news and other audio content.” These “contextual elements” include photos, video and text that appear in each episode.

Spotlight debuts with content from BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted, as well as some of its own original series such as RISE, Secret Genius, Spotify Singles and the new Viva Latino podcast. Additional series will launch in February.

The programming spans news, pop culture, sports, politics and music, as well as a range of viewpoints, voices and more.

Spotlight is available in the US and will soon roll out to additional markets, the streamer says.