Spotify is beginning to test new podcast features for a select group of users, beginning with a playlist that suggests podcast episodes for you to listen to, interspersed with songs.
The playlist is aimed at users who commute frequently in their vehicles and is called "Your Daily Drive" (via The Verge). The podcasts seen in the playlist mainly center around news shows.
Spotify has been slowly gearing up for a strong push into podcasts for a few years now, but it has yet to introduce any sort of podcast curation feature or used its algorithms to recommend podcasts to subscribers. In the new playlist, the company is testing out doing just that, albeit with a few song recommendations thrown in as well.
Spotify confirmed the test to The Verge with the usual statement: "We're always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time." Because of this, it's unclear if this new playlist will launch to a wide audience on Spotify. As of now, the playlist's podcast recommendations are in Portuguese so it appears the test is happening only outside of the United States.
Spotify appears to have a new (?) algorithmic playlist for morning commutes that mixes news podcasts and music, but all the podcasts are in a foreign language? pic.twitter.com/8HZyq6Ji3J — dan seifert (@dcseifert) May 1, 2019
Once it fully launches, Spotify's podcast initiative will be a direct competitor to Apple Podcasts, which has long dominated the market, although some creators and listeners have ongoing gripes with the platform. To get an edge on Apple Podcasts, Spotify plans to focus on exclusives and improved podcast discovery -- like with this week's test -- to challenge Apple as the go-to destination for podcasts.