Are you a fan of podcasts? Well, we are too. Be it while working out, taking a stroll outside (which isn’t really happening much right now) or just before going to bed, podcasts are a constant companion for a lot of people. Some people even prefer to listen to podcasts over music in certain situations. And Spotify is making it easier for everyone involved.
Spotify, the music streaming giant, is making it easier for users to discover new podcasts. The company rolled out a new suite of curated playlists on Tuesday, April 21. However, instead of music tracks, the playlist will have only podcasts. Moreover, the podcasts are also categorised into genres and categories. In addition to this, Spotify’s content team will regularly curate and update the playlists regularly.
This will apparently solve the podcast discovery problem and will also help podcasters reach new audiences. The new update has three podcast playlists – Best Podcasts of the Week, Brain Snacks and Crime Scene. Moreover, these podcasts will be available in six countries – the US, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil and the UK. To make it more personalised, the podcasts will be localised to the respective countries and will have content by curators in each location.
Spotify specifically hired podcast curators to work on this feature from around the world. Moreover, the playlists are also great for people who already listen to podcasts, so that they can listen to them on Spotify.
The podcast playlists have been in testing since last year and Spotify has been keeping a track of how people use them. The playlists will also help to pull in new listeners, who have never listened to a podcast before. It can help them discover something new.
The playlists have come at a very opportune, albeit unstable, time. Podcasters at the moment are checking if the lack of commute is making people change their podcast listening habits. Spotify itself has seen a change in listening behaviours. However, things are expected to go back to normal once the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic eases up.
On the other hand, Spotify’s curation efforts have made some other very nervous. Apple, who is the biggest name in the podcast industry, does not own its own podcast content. That is not true for Spotify. The company owns Gimlet Media, Parcast, Anchor and its own Spotify Studios – who are all potent enough to produce podcasts. Naturally, people in the industry are a bit worried that Spotify might use the playlists to amplify their own voices.
“The product only works if it has editorial integrity, and our editors have been given the directive to pick what the best content is,” said Courtney Holt, VP, Global Head of Studios & Video. “It really has very little to do with whether or not we’ve made it … The goal is to reflect what is interesting to a broad constituency, and if our shows rise to the occasion, that’s great, but the idea is that this is not a way to celebrate Spotify-produced content. It’s a way to celebrate the shows you have to hear in any given week because they’re amazing.”
Along with this, Spotify is also planning to introduce a tool in the Spotify for Podcasters dashboard. This will let podcasters known whenever one of their episodes is included in a playlist.
According to the company, the goal of introducing these tools is to highlight the podcast industry. The step will be beneficial for everyone involved.