Spotify Testing TikTok-Style Vertical ‘Audio Newsfeed’ Podcast Discovery Feature: Report



Spotify is reportedly testing a new ‘audio newsfeed’ feature for easy podcast discovery on its apps. The new interface is said to provide a TikTok-style vertical scrolling feed that features 60-second clips from various podcasts. It is reportedly utilising a technology that was developed by the startup company Podz, which Spotify acquired last year. This feature is currently said to be available to a limited number of users. These users get a dedicated ‘Podcasts’ button in the app to access the vertical feed.

As per a report by TechCrunch, Spotify is said to be employing the technology developed by Podz for this feature. It reportedly uses a machine learning model that has been trained on 100,000 hours of audio to automatically select clips from podcasts. Podz was acquired by Spotify in June 2021.

Product designer Chris Messina shared a test video of this the new ‘audio newsfeed’ through his Twitter handle. The video showcases a dedicated ‘Podcasts’ button in the app that takes users to the vertical feed. The feed is populated by clips from podcasts that the users might enjoy with the layout including the cover art of the associated podcast clip. The clip gets transcribed as it is played with the words being highlighted as they are spoken. The user can press the play button if they want to continue listening to the podcast beyond the clip. There is also a ‘+’ button for adding the episode to ‘Your Episodes’ lists. It should be noted that the new feed may undergo several changes before the final build is released.

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Spotify has reportedly confirmed the use of Podz’s technology but has not shared its plans for a wider release of the feature or a development roadmap. Spotify could be holding out as it acquires more data to improve the service before launch.

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