Home Audio Transcription Spotify Tests Vertical Scrolling ‘Audio Newsfeed’ to Aid Podcast Discoverability

Spotify Tests Vertical Scrolling ‘Audio Newsfeed’ to Aid Podcast Discoverability

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Spotify is testing a new podcast feature that uses a TikTok-style vertical “audio newsfeed” to enhance podcast discoverability in the app, reports TechCrunch.
General Spotify Feature

As shown in the embedded video below posted to Twitter, the newsfeed presents users with 60-second audio clips of shows in a vertically scrolling feed. It reportedly uses a machine learning model that has been trained on 100,000 hours of audio to make it capable of automatically selecting which clips to showcase.

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Spotify says the feature is based on technology that the company acquired when it bought Podz last summer for around $49 million. The startup created the “audio newsfeed” to solve the problem of podcast discovery by using a TikTok-style vertical scrolling format, and what made it particularly innovative was its ability to select audio clips of shows in a way that didn’t rely on podcast creators to produce their own clips.

In regions where the feature is being tested, a dedicated “Podcasts” button in the app takes users to the vertical feed, where a show’s cover art is displayed as the associated audio clip plays. The clip is also transcribed on screen as it plays, with the words highlighted as they are spoken. A play button allows users to continue listening to the show, while a plus button lets users add the episode to the app’s “Your Episodes” list.

Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that it was testing the technology it acquired from Podz, but did not offer a roadmap for the feature’s general release:

“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience,” a spokesperson said. “Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”

Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts over the course of the last few years in a bid to challenge Apple’s historical dominance in the podcasting sphere. Spotify has also been working on original podcast content and has purchased several well-known podcasts since 2019.

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