Spotify is testing podcast discovery vertically, TikTok style

Spotify takes inspiration from TikTok by implementing a vertically scrolling interface for discovering podcasts. It is currently available to a few users.

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Discover podcasts vertically on Spotify

The stream presents users with 60-second snippets of podcasts in a system with vertical scrolling. It relies on a machine learning model trained on 100,000 hours of audio to be able to automatically select which snippets to present. The idea is that users are quickly interested in what they hear in order to listen to the entire podcast and thus discover the author. Here is what it looks like:

HUGE!! @Spotify is adding a dedicated TikTok-style vertical scrolling feed for @spotifypodcasts to its toolbar!

h/t @SleepwellCap #NewSpotify

— Chris Messina 🪬 (@chrismessina) March 26, 2022

Spotify says the feature is based on technology from Podz, a company it acquired last summer for around $49 million. The startup created the “audio newsfeed” to solve the problem of discovering podcasts using a vertical scrolling format, like TikTok. Its technology is also able to choose a portion of the podcast likely to interest users without the creators of the programs themselves having to do so.

A Podcasts button has appeared in the lower part of the Spotify application, it gives access to the new discovery stream. “At Spotify, we regularly carry out a number of tests with the aim of improving our user experience. Some of these tests end up paving the way for a larger user experience and others are just for learning something. We have no further news to share at this time”the platform told TechCrunch.

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