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Spotify targets US commuters with playlist of podcasts and music


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Spotify has unveiled its latest algo-personalised playlist, Your Daily Drive, which is aimed at commuters in the US.

“Music and news” is its thing: a mixture of familiar and new songs based on the tastes of each listener, but also “short-form podcast news updates” from outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NPR and PRI. Spotify says the playlist will be updated throughout the day “to keep both the music and news fresh”.

This is very much about Spotify’s longer-term efforts to get more listening in cars, and thus attract more listeners away from traditional radio. See CFO Barry McCarthy’s comments last September noting that “the car is the principal user experience for broadcast radio” while admitting that “I don’t know what happens to news and I don’t know what happens to sports”.

Your Daily Drive is one of Spotify’s attempts to influence what happens to news. Also relevant: the fact that the company is currently recruiting a ‘news and documentary podcast producer’ for its New York office “focused on developing a diverse slate of original news and documentary podcast programming”.

One quick point: the US-only launch of Your Daily Drive does show one of the challenges for Spotify: news needs to be local, so rolling the playlist out elsewhere in the world will require partners to be making similar ‘short-form podcast news updates’ for Spotify to use.

Stuart Dredge

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