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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify on Monday announced a slew of new tools to help podcast creators on its platform develop more interactive shows.

Why it matters: Spotify believes podcasts will help drive long-term user attention and growth for the company, which today is still primarily used to stream music.

Details: Spotify's new podcast partnerships and tools are designed to make it easier for people to produce more engaging podcasts.

  1. The company is partnering with WordPress to turn written content directly into podcasts via its podcast creator platform Anchor.
  2. In the coming months, Anchor will enable more creators to add videos to their podcasts. This functionality is currently available to music artists.
  3. Spotify is also launching interactivity tools like polls and Q&A features for podcasters using Anchor.

The company also announced that it will be launching a new "hi-fi" (high fidelity) subscription option later this year for users who want to experience the highest-quality audio available, especially for music.

What's next: Moving forward, Spotify says it's building and scaling a new podcast discovery experience that can craft podcast recommendation lists based on a listener's taste in music.

Go deeper: Spotify has tripled number of podcasts in past year to 2.2 million

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios