Spotify Tests Vertical Scrolling 'Audio Newsfeed' to Aid Podcast Discoverability

Spotify is testing a new podcast feature that uses a TikTok-style vertical "audio newsfeed" to enhance podcast discoverability in the app, reports TechCrunch.
General Spotify Feature

As shown in the embedded video below posted to Twitter, the newsfeed presents users with 60-second audio clips of shows in a vertically scrolling feed. It reportedly uses a machine learning model that has been trained on 100,000 hours of audio to make it capable of automatically selecting which clips to showcase.

Spotify says the feature is based on technology that the company acquired when it bought Podz last summer for around $49 million. The startup created the "audio newsfeed" to solve the problem of podcast discovery by using a TikTok-style vertical scrolling format, and what made it particularly innovative was its ability to select audio clips of shows in a way that didn't rely on podcast creators to produce their own clips.

In regions where the feature is being tested, a dedicated "Podcasts" button in the app takes users to the vertical feed, where a show's cover art is displayed as the associated audio clip plays. The clip is also transcribed on screen as it plays, with the words highlighted as they are spoken. A play button allows users to continue listening to the show, while a plus button lets users add the episode to the app's "Your Episodes" list.


Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that it was testing the technology it acquired from Podz, but did not offer a roadmap for the feature's general release:

"At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience," a spokesperson said. "Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don't have any further news to share at this time."

Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts over the course of the last few years in a bid to challenge Apple's historical dominance in the podcasting sphere. Spotify has also been working on original podcast content and has purchased several well-known podcasts since 2019.

Tag: Spotify

Top Rated Comments

jonnysods Avatar
9 months ago
Spotify need to split off the podcasts into a separate app.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winxmac Avatar
9 months ago
Why?

Spotify going the way of Instagram... [and other companies, in other words becoming all-in-one]

Instagram - we're no longer just a photo and video sharing platform...
Spotify - we're no longer just a music streaming service...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SebCohen Avatar
9 months ago
1. I don’t like mixing my apples and my bananas. Yes, they’re both fruit. But I like it tidy and separate. It’s like when they added your own library…that was a mess. I actually like apps that do one thing, because you don’t spend more time in them than you need.

2. And until Spotify is the ONLY place in the known galaxy for podcasts, I won’t use them…exclusives? I’ll find something else to listen to. I’m paying for a product, Spotify want’s to make me the product..don’t want to.

3. One app to rule them all, also means lock-in. That’s worse than everything else.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrTangent Avatar
9 months ago
Just give me ability to never see podcasts. Ever. I will never listen to them. I pay for Premium. All I want is music.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
9 months ago
I am seriously considering cancelling Spotify due their push of podcasts. I don't want podcasts in my music app, period.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpeeps Avatar
9 months ago

Spotify need to split off the podcasts into a separate app.
I am absolutely sick of half of my homepage being taken up by podcasts when I have never listened to a podcast on Spotify.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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