Spotify’s rolled out a new smart playlist to some of its users on the down-low. Called ‘Daily Drive’, the new addition to its personalised playlists roster includes short, news-related podcast segments woven into a curated playlist of songs chosen. We’ve reached out to Spotify for more information about the playlist, how many users have access to it, and whether it’ll become a permanent fixture, but hadn’t heard back at the time of writing.
[UPDATE: Spotify got back to us and says, “We’re always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time.”]
As we’ve seen in recent months, Spotify has doubled down on its podcasting efforts. It’s invested a whole wad of cash acquiring podcasting companies Gimlet Media and Anchor. Not only that, but the latest numbers show that Spotify has reached 100 million paid users, way above its competitor Apple Music, which has around 50 million paid subscribers. Like Apple, Spotify has to pay publishers for the rights to stream their music, but if it can make its own podcast content it could make money from it… think of it as the Netflix model.
Sit down, and listen
Apparently, the company has struggled to find a way to recommend podcasts to its audiences. Playlists like Daily Drive could be a test to see how users react to mixed music/podcast playlists and see whether it makes Spotify users more likely to subscribe to podcasts via the app. It makes sense that Spotify would want to secure a spot in your daily commute and replace that old tech that people used to listen to in their cars… What was it called again? Oh yeah! Radio.
The Verge editor Dan Seifert received access to the podcast yesterday, but all the podcasts recommended to him were in Portuguese. Hint: Seifert doesn’t speak Portuguese. But this morning, our editor Craig Wilson received the playlist recommendation on the app’s home screen. And the podcast tidbits were all in his home language (English, albeit US) as well as being strangely close to the preferred news podcasts he listens on his Google Home. Spotify is being a bit of a creep, but we’ll roll with it.
Spotify appears to have a new (?) algorithmic playlist for morning commutes that mixes news podcasts and music, but all the podcasts are in a foreign language? pic.twitter.com/8HZyq6Ji3J
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) May 1, 2019
The weird thing is, Spotify hasn’t officially announced any plans for the feature yet, but people have access to it. At Stuff, we enjoy the weekly personalised playlists, and this is one we can definitely get behind.