This is no doubt an attempt to consolidate podcast creators and listeners into exclusively using Spotify as their go-to podcast app but it does mean that up and coming podcasters have a better opportunity to be discovered by a wider audience.
Curated playlists is one of the things Spotify does arguably better than anyone else in the music app business. Spotify just seems to be the app that all music lovers and enthusiasts gravitate towards due to their recommendation algorithms and impressively intuitive Discover Weekly playlists. Having said that, while Spotify does offer a whole range of cool options for those of us who prefer listening to podcasts to albums they’re certainly not the first place many users look to discover new shows. Which is something they’re trying to turn around.
Reported by The Verge, this new function is launching in the US, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Mexico and Brazil and will see Spotify roll out human-curated podcast playlists to help listeners broaden their podcast selection. These playlists will be localised to the individual countries meaning that local creators have a better chance of being discovered, which is actually a really cool feature.
The program will consist of three different playlists that will change and adapt ever week: Best Podcasts of the Week, Brain Snacks, and Crime Scene. Strange how comedy podcasts have seemingly been left out in the rain but there’s always an opportunity to expand the playlists on offer. We’re fairly sure we’ll see a selection of Dungeons and Dragons themed podcasts in the future.
Courtney Holt, VP, Global Head of Studios & Video for Spotify described why he thinks the introduction of podcasts playlists is beneficial for everyone involved, saying, “The goal is to reflect what is interesting to a broad constituency, and if our shows rise to the occasion, that’s great, but the idea is that this is not a way to celebrate Spotify-produced content. It’s a way to celebrate the shows you have to hear in any given week because they’re amazing.”
What remains to be seen is whether this functionality spreads around the world and benefits local creators everywhere, South Africa included. We’re sure there’re plenty of local podcasters who deserve a boost in recognition so whether or not this system elevates them or drowns them out with more international content is something Spotify will have to monitor as time goes on.