Spotify is currently testing curated podcast playlists. As a Spotify user, you start seeing them today.
Why the Experiment?
This experiment will assist the service in understanding how users find new shows. The curated lists will be divided into five categories.
As the Verge reported, the playlist will include a combination of third-party shows and Spotify originals.
It is not surprising for the company to provide curated podcast playlists. For many years, it has been providing such feature but only for music. It has Discover Weekly and Release Radar as part of the feature.
Recently, it increased its effort in personalizing lists and podcasts. Personalized playlists would boost new song discovery.
As it acquired Gimlet Media, Parcast and Anchor, Spotify made it clear that it is boosting its effort in providing more podcasts to users.
It is also reported that the company is currently testing podcast discover for the daily commute.
How long this curated playlist will last is unknown. It is also interesting to know if the service will find a way to build algorithmically generated playlists.
Not all Spotify users will see the curated lists. A small percentage of users from the UK, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, and Argentina, as well as the US, will see the playlists.
Since it is still a test, the playlists will change as the company is still determining how it will exhibit the list to the users.
The human curators may have a deal with networks for placement of their podcast. But it is just a conjecture. It is also likely that the curators will pick the content themselves.
The discoverability of podcast has become a problem in the industry. And this is the goal of the curated podcast playlist.
Most users find new podcasts after hearing them on other shows. Cross-promotional ads are vital in podcast discoverability. These ads play a vital role in many startups.
Other podcast apps have human curators. But they often provide full show recommendations, instead of individual episodes. In Apple’s case, it has partnered with networks and creators for their work to be featured.
These human-curated playlists are a great addition to the service. However, they may not totally help the industry.
Currently, the playlists are still broad. Discovery could be enhanced if every user would see an individualized list of episode recommendations according to his/her preference.
According to Spotify, it is always testing new features and products to help users get a better listening experience. The experiment’s goal is to make it simpler for users to find new podcasts as it gives creators another way to connect with their new fans.
Podcasts for Businesses
Podcasts are great for online marketing. Users can listen to them while driving, running and exercising. They are portable and personal.
Blogging can help you share your ideas to your audience. However, most readers only skim blogs. With podcasts, however, users cannot skim. You are connected with the podcaster on a more personal level.