Spotify podcast polls test hints at a more interactive future

Spotify has started testing a new podcast poll feature with a number of mobile users, enabling audiences to participate by answering questions. The feature is a test at this point, meaning only some users are able to access it. However, the presence of this type of feature hints at a future in which Spotify may be more interactive than it currently is, crowdsourcing information from listeners and, potentially, encouraging them to interact with ads and other elements.

Podcast polls on Spotify are exactly what they sound like — a feature that presents a question to users, enabling them to share their responses with the show and other listeners. Anyone who answers a poll is able to view other users' answers, though responses are anonymous.

According to The Verge, Spotify is only showing this test on some of its own original productions; it's unclear whether it will eventually expand to include third-party podcast content, as well. The polls are appearing for users on both Android and iOS at this time.

It's easy to see how such a feature could be useful for creators — in addition to getting an audience to engage with the topic, polls could also be a simple way to determine how one's audience feels about certain show elements or to figure out which topics listeners are most interested in.

According to the report, all Spotify users will eventually get access to the polls feature, though, of course, there's no obligation to actually interact with them. Audio streaming is, by its nature, a passive activity; you start a stream, then pop your phone into your pocket and focus on other activities. It's yet to be seen whether polls and other interactive elements will prove interesting enough to users to have any sort of significance on the platform.