Spotify Is Shutting Down ‘Music + Talk’ Music Licensing Feature for Podcasters

Spotify shutting down Music + Talk
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Spotify shutting down Music + Talk
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Photo Credit: James McKinven

Spotify is making some core changes to its Spotify for Podcasters platform, including shutting down its ‘Music + Talk’ music licensing feature. Here’s the latest.

Spotify says it is deepening its partnership with Riverside to provide podcast creation inside the Spotify for Podcasters website. The initial partnership with Riverside was announced in 2022. With this new integration, podcasters can record and edit their audio and video podcasts with Riverside directly inside the Spotify for Podcasters web product.

“You can bring in guests for remote interviews, make precise transcript-based edits to the recording, and use their comprehensive suite of AI tools to further clean up and enhance the content before publishing through Spotify for Podcasters,” Spotify says.

“Alongside the rollout of this integration and to better optimize the needs of creators today, we are refocusing our attention and resources from some of our legacy tooling to the next generation of podcast innovations.”

Part of the shift means Spotify is discontinuing its native web and mobile creation tools, including its recording and editing tools and the ‘Music + Talk’ format, which was an experimental feature allowing podcasters to include full licensed music tracks in their podcast episodes. The feature will be going away in June 2024.

Also impacted is the ‘Record with Friends’ feature, ‘Voice Messages,’ and the entire episode builder for mobile and web. Spotify says current users can continue to upload audio and video podcasts to Spotify for Podcasters for distribution, management, and monetization. All existing published episodes will remain published and unchanged. If you’re in the process of creating an episode using Spotify’s native tools, the service recommends downloading segments you want to keep (intros, outros, etc.).

Eliminating the Music + Talk feature is a huge blow to music podcasters, who depended on the ability to share the licensed tracks that were topics of discussion. The feature was introduced by Spotify in 2020. But the feature wasn’t used beyond music podcasts—so Spotify gave it the axe.

“Music + Talk was a format we had high hopes for, but after three years of investment, it has not gained meaningful traction with listeners and remains non-monetizable for creators,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Verge. “We believe we’ll make the most impact for creators by continuing to focus on tangible ways they can find and grow an audience and build a sustainable living.”