Spotify Is Testing An Audio Newsfeed. Here's What That Means

If finding the best podcast for your tastes is a chore, then Spotify's new dedicated Podcasts feed may be the exact thing you're looking for. This newsfeed will present 60-second audio clips of podcasts as you scroll down, one by one, and each podcast sample will feature transcripts of the spoken words, which means you'll also get a visual impression of what's being said. A visualization of the new feature was made available on Twitter via @chrismessina on March 26, and it's worth checking out the video included in the tweet to get a look at how the Podcasts tab works.

All that said, it seems the new Podcasts tabs will be added to the mobile Spotify app dashboard in a future update, where it will sit between the Search and Home tabs. This new feature seems to work pretty similarly to TikTok, but instead of random videos, you're getting a discovery playlist full of various podcasts that are handpicked to suit your own custom-tailored interests. If you find one you like, you can tap the + button to quickly add the Podcast to a playlist called "Your Episodes," where you can check it out later. This is just the latest among Spotify's methods for making discovery more convenient on its platform, much like it has with its Blend playlists.

Podcast discovery is an acquired feature for Spotify

This new Podcasts tab is the direct result of Spotify acquiring an established podcast discovery technology called Podz. It's a machine learning technology that was belt-fed over 100,000 hours of podcasts, TechCrunch reported in February 2021. By having listened to that much audio content, Podz's sophisticated predictive technology is supposedly well-equipped to know what you're likely to find enjoyable and informative, which is a difficult task when many podcasts can last for an hour or longer. Spotify purchased the Podz platform for around $49.4 million in July 2021.

Podz isn't the only platform that was trying to create an audio newsfeed for long-form audio content. Facebook Soundbites has been in the works for just as long, though it may be sequestered to those who use the Facebook app. There is currently no release date for the new Spotify Podcasts feature, which is still being tested behind closed doors. At least we now know what that Podz acquisition was all about, though keep in mind that as with any test, the feature may change by the time it launches for everyone.