Spotify is trying to reinvent the podcast.

It has launched a new multimedia format, dubbed Spotlight, which sounds an awful lot like visual podcasts. The company said it essentially "introduces visual layers" to podcasts, as well as audiobooks, news, and other audio content. Here's what you need to know about the new feature including who can try it now and how it works.

  • It's a new multimedia format
  • Adds a contextual visual elements to podcasts

Spotlight is a new multimedia format exclusive to the Spotify streaming service. It's designed to give users a "deeper insight to their favourite artists, playlists, books, publishers, and more by offering contextual visual elements, such as photos, video, and text, that appear as users move through each episode", according to Spotify.

  • You will see a new component on left side of app
  • It might display relevant video, text, or photos

The Spotlight format won't really change the Spotify interface you're already familiar with, but rather, it will complement the listening experience. So, when you listen to a podcast, you'll see a multimedia component. For instance, a video will pop up on the left side of the app. You might also see text or photos as part of this new format.

So, Spotlight will offer contextual visual elements, which appear as you move, say, through each podcast episode.

  • It is rolling out now for users
  • Launching with content from select partners

Spotify is launching Spotlight now with content from the following Spotify partners: BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29, and Uninterrupted. Spotlight will also feature content from some of Spotify’s own original series, like RISE, Secret Genius, and Spotify Singles.

Spotify said more content will become available throughout the month of February 2018, and the lineup will include a range of categories from pop culture to sports, politics, and music.

  • It is initially launching in the US
  • We'll let you know if it expands elsewhere

The feature is only available in the US, though it’s expected to expand.

Check out Spotify's blog post for more details.