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Spotify is experimenting with a new podcast initiative that's said to be aimed at gaining ground on the current leader in the field, Apple, as a way to convince Spotify users on iOS to stick around in the Spotify app, and not migrate over to Apple Podcasts. As of now, the podcast initiative is described as a "test," with Spotify launching a few original podcasts and running promotions for the shows to see how users respond (via Bloomberg).

Currently, podcasts on Spotify sit within the Browse tab of the iOS app and lack any highlighted featured section on the Home screen. Spotify's new initiative seeks a way to change that and begin showcasing podcasts for users in the same way that the service curates music. Earlier this year, Spotify commissioned original podcasts focused on music, premiering first on Spotify before expanding to other services.

spotify-podcasts.jpg

Next, more original shows will continue the podcast test over the coming months.
Spotify will fund a new batch of original podcasts in the coming months, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing the private plans.

"Spotify has the potential to do a lot for podcasting," Quah said. "They have a large user base, and all it takes is a few tweaks here and there to put podcasting in the foreground for the daily listeners."
The initiative is also expanding into advertising fields, with Spotify agreeing to promote specific podcasts within the app and on mobile transportation, in return for these podcast hosts "talking up" Spotify on social media and throughout their shows. Right now, the podcasts in agreement with Spotify include "Reply All," "Pod Save America," and "The Bill Simmons Podcast."

At WWDC this year, Apple announced major features for both users and podcast creators coming to the overhauled Podcasts app in iOS 11. Although the recently rebranded "Apple Podcasts" holds the majority share of the podcast market (around 55 percent, according to weekly podcast newsletter author Nick Quah), Spotify's stance as the largest streaming service in the world presents it with "an opportunity to steal share from Apple."

Due to the surge in popularity of podcasts over recent years, Apple in 2016 even met with leading podcasters to discuss their grievances over iTunes and its podcasts section.

Article Link: Spotify 'Coming After' Apple With Strong Push Into Podcasts
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Spotify expanding and adding to the competition. This should be interesting to see any podcast development from them.
 
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oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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It seems "wrong" to me to combine podcasts and music into one app. It's not that I'm against Spotify having a podcast player, but I would prefer it to be in a separate icon on my screen. If I go to Spotify, I want music and seeing the podcast stuff there is annoying. Thanks for the functionality, but you're giving me features I am not seeking out at that moment. It's like going to the youtube app and seeing ebooks to download - it's fine, but not what I'm looking for in that moment.
 
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NovemberWhiskey

macrumors 68040
May 18, 2009
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Can Spotify call the "podcasts"? I thought that was an Apple thing, named after the "iPod".
 
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tkermit

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2004
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It seems "wrong" to me to combine podcasts and music into one app.

Agreed. I like that I can rely on a specialized app for listening to them and for keeping them separate from my music library. Apple's Music app for all of my music and Overcast for podcasts. Very simple, with each app well suited for its intended purpose.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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It seems "wrong" to me to combine podcasts and music into one app. It's not that I'm against Spotify having a podcast player, but I would prefer it to be in a separate icon on my screen. If I go to Spotify, I want music and seeing the podcast stuff there is annoying. Thanks for the functionality, but you're giving me features I am not seeking out at that moment. It's like going to the youtube app and seeing ebooks to download - it's fine, but not what I'm looking for in that moment.

I'd love to have Podcasts and music in a single app. I want to listen to my latest podcasts, and then when those are exhausted I want to smoothly go into a playlist of music.

I don't want to have to manually go and start up a playlist after my last podcast ends.

I already have 7 podcasts I listen to regularly. I don't need new original ones. Zero of the 7 that I listen to are currently on Spotify. If Spotify wants to compete with Podcasts, all they have to do is put those 7 in and I'll delete the Podcasts app.
 
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CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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I'm surprised Apple didn't trademark it.

Apple's official stance on the issue is that they are fine with "podcast" and have only filed trademark infringement claims against companies that use the term "Pod" in a way that they feel infringes on their iPod trademark.

In 2005 the USPTO rejected a claim by Shae Spencer Management, LLC based on Wikipedia's entry describing the history of the word (it is generally accepted that it was BBC journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004). They rejected a follow-on claim by the same in 2006. At that point, nobody else bothered.
 
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RevTEG

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2012
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I wasn't aware that Spotify had podcast until I saw this article. I opened up my Spotify app on my iPad and it says, "Spotify can't open this type of link on this device".

So I can't listen to podcast on my iPad Pro while working at my desk? Guess I'll move along, nothing to hear here.
 
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foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
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Podcasts are stuck with either ads or pledge drives for funding.

It seems so obvious, that I always wonder why it hasn't happened yet: Advertising-free podcasts in Apple Music or Spotify. Pretty much everybody would profit from that.

(And since podcasts are the reason I'm not listening to music anymore, it would make me sign up, too.)
 
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v0lume4

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Jul 28, 2012
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I'd be stoked if my favorite podcasts starting using Spotify as a platform. One of the few things that I miss having moved away from iPhone is the incredible Podcast selection/community (even if the Podcasts app was horrific :p). I hope that Spotify makes it easy for creators to upload their podcasts as does Apple.
 
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acm1108

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2013
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It seems "wrong" to me to combine podcasts and music into one app. It's not that I'm against Spotify having a podcast player, but I would prefer it to be in a separate icon on my screen. If I go to Spotify, I want music and seeing the podcast stuff there is annoying. Thanks for the functionality, but you're giving me features I am not seeking out at that moment. It's like going to the youtube app and seeing ebooks to download - it's fine, but not what I'm looking for in that moment.

Except you 'listen' to Music and Podcast, and only watch (not read) in this case.

It's like if YouTube introduced Movies on their platform along with videos, and vloggers....which they have and has worked out just fine for everyone.
 
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actcyclist

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2017
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Seems to be the podcast section of Spotify is pretty lame. A tiny subset of what's out there in open podcast apps; mainstream stuff.
I don't like any new format that limits what's out there in the rest of the world, reminds me of AOL in the late 90s.
 
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oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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Except you 'listen' to Music and Podcast, and only watch (not read) in this case.

It's like if YouTube introduced Movies on their platform along with videos, and vloggers....which they have and has worked out just fine for everyone.

I "listen" to a lot of stuff though. Would it make sense for Spotify to also bundle a VoIP app? How about a voice-mail app? How about live streaming sports radio?

I also watch more than just videos and movies. I wouldn't be a fan if Youtube integrated the Nest camera feed from my home.

Having multiple apps is fine. Physical devices converged because it made sense technologically. Software doesn't have to converge because there is rarely any efficiency to be gained. Like I said, Spotify can make a podcast app - just don't mix it with the music app.

Case and point - iTunes is what you get when you converge too many tenuously-linked software functionalities into a single app. Not too many people are fans of iTunes these days...
 
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Mackinjosh

Suspended
Aug 21, 2014
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Neither can touch Pocketcasts. And before Spotify moves on to their own Podcasts, how about fixing the Podcast support you already have? It's a tiny subset of what's out there. If they did it, right I'd have an incentive to not require two apps to listen to music and podcasts. I'd love to do it all in Spotify, but as it stands now their support for Podcasts is awful.
 
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iMerik

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2011
620
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Upper Midwest
Neither can touch Pocketcasts. And before Spotify moves on to their own Podcasts, how about fixing the Podcast support you already have? It's a tiny subset of what's out there. If they did it, right I'd have an incentive to not require two apps to listen to music and podcasts. I'd love to do it all in Spotify, but as it stands now their support for Podcasts is awful.
I haven't installed the SONOS beta yet, but I'm pumped for Pocket Casts / SONOS integration.
 
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