You can certainly search for, subscribe to and play podcasts on Spotify, but discovering new shows is currently not such a prominent feature for the service. That’s beginning to change: The Verge reports on a test kicking off this week of ‘podcast playlists’ offering recommendations of shows. These are curated playlists rather than a ‘Discover Weekly of Podcasts’ type thing.
“Five playlists will start showing up today to around 5 percent of users in the UK, US, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina,” explained the report. “The themes include comedy, true crime, ‘geek culture,’ ‘walking (motivational),’ and ‘relaxing (mindfulness).’
The playlists are expected to change over time as Spotify experiments with how to present them, which means they could update at different rates and feature a rotating selection of both Spotify-exclusive shows and third-party podcasts.”
That will be something interesting to watch: to what extent Spotify’s own shows are prioritised (or not) over those from other publishers. But it’s also true that doing more with podcast discovery is a necessary step for Spotify, as it competes with Pandora (which recently launched its ‘podcast genome project’) to find new ways to suggest podcasts to new listeners.
One surprise: why no ‘music podcasts’ playlist? That would seem to be a good fit for Spotify’s audience, and as we’ve found in the research for a report we’re publishing next week, there are dozens of excellent music-focused podcasts out there. But as The Verge made clear, Spotify’s test may expand and evolve in the coming months.