Spotify are betting big on podcasts with some changes to show they’re serious about making podcasts a major part of their service.
Spotify took the world by storm with on-demand, unlimited music streaming – opening the world up to a fountain of music like never before. In the past year however Spotify have been treading a new path with a new focus on podcasts.
Music is still the dish of the day but podcasts are becoming more and more popular on the streaming service and Spotify are embracing it. They’ve acquired numerous podcast companies and makers in the past year and have said that a push on podcasts is their goal for 2019.
Podcasts have become so popular on Spotify that they are now re-designing the app to give them equal footing next to music. Spotify have been testing the changes with some users, displaying ‘music’ and ‘podcasts’ besides each other at the top of libraries in prominent fonts.
They hope that considering podcasts’ proliferation throughout the platform, even whilst not as strongly promoted as music on Spotify, will be enhanced with greater discovery by putting them forefront.
Spotify are using what they’ve learnt by becoming one of the world’s favourite places to discover music. Spotify’s music playlists are hailed by millions and they are going to use their algorithmic based personalisation to enhance podcasts too.
Spotify’s chief financial officer, Barry McCarthy said in an interview: “There are plenty of podcasts we’d all enjoy if only we knew they existed. There is no search engine, no search interface that understands what podcast you and I like. We’re working hard on that problem.”
They are reportedly testing a personalised playlist called ‘Daily Drive’ which will add short podcast episodes in-between music. The concept is based around the daily commute of your average working, acting like a personalised radio station with short podcasts instead of presenter chit-chat.
During their first-quarter earnings call Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek said: “Personalisation is one of our core pillars of our strategy. And there, we are obviously really, really far along in music; podcast is a much newer space for us.”
Spotify have said they’re happy to spend another $100 million in podcasts this year. It’s interesting seeing the streaming giant branch beyond music and it will be interesting how they implement it more forward-facing without infringing on the music experience.