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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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

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.

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.

Article Link: Spotify Tests Vertical Scrolling 'Audio Newsfeed' to Aid Podcast Discoverability


macrumors member
Oct 25, 2021
Spotify will continue to make podcasts more and more prominent in their app, because they won't have to pay the labels if their users aren't listening to music... I do not care about podcasts and as soon as apple music cleans up their act with their Mac app I will switch my family subscription
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macrumors member
Feb 9, 2022
1. I don’t like mixing my apples and my bananas. Yes, they’re both fruit. But I like it tidy and separate. It’s like when they added your own library…that was a mess. I actually like apps that do one thing, because you don’t spend more time in them than you need.

2. And until Spotify is the ONLY place in the known galaxy for podcasts, I won’t use them…exclusives? I’ll find something else to listen to. I’m paying for a product, Spotify want’s to make me the product..don’t want to.

3. One app to rule them all, also means lock-in. That’s worse than everything else.


macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
Good idea. Discoverability of new stuff on music apps is not ideal right now, neither for music nor for podcasts, so some innovation in that regard is a good thing.

Although I have to agree with others that podcasts and music should be in separate apps. Yes, they are both audio, but that's about where their similarities end. Music and podcasts don't serve the same purpose.
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macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2019
Spotify rolling podcast into a separate tab is way better than having music / podcast cluttered together. I haven't used Spotify for quite some time but might check them out again if only music is on the home tab and podcast on their own tab.
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macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
Is this auto play? That would drive me up the fracken wall.

I really wish they didn't keep adding junk. I got Spotify for one reason. Music. I could search for and play any song I was interested in and skip the rest. While the other services didn't allow you that level of control. Not sure if they do now. It also exposes me to similar old music I wasn't familiar with and never plays on the radio.

Adding videos and podcasts is of zero interest to me. It also means less money for licensing music rights.
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macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2010
I generally like Spotify overall. I think their algorithms are pretty good at figuring out what to play more so than other services. I hope this helps with their podcast experience because they definitely have room for improvement.


macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2005
How’s that lossless tier coming along? How about that HomePod support you guys (Spotify) complained about???
How many of you guys listen to your music using wired headsets... I do, but that's got to me a small minitory at this point.. Then if the wired headset isn't decent, you can't hear the diff between lossless anyway.. I'm not sure this is a good area of focus.

HomePod support of course makes sense... But at least with Spotify, there are hundreds of choices for inbuilt service in speakers...


macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2014
Why has Apple historically dominated the podcast sphere? Probably because they have a dedicated app for it. Why doesn't Spotify follow that model instead of making music lovers and podcast listeners unhappy in the same app?


macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
Why has Apple historically dominated the podcast sphere? Probably because they have a dedicated app for it. Why doesn't Spotify follow that model instead of making music lovers and podcast listeners unhappy in the same app?
It's probably not because of the dedicated app. Especially because Apple's dedicated Podcast app is hot garbage.

It's because Apple was the earliest consumer electronics promoter and integrator of Podcasts by many years. I remember downloading the daily NPR news podcast and syncing it to my iPod every morning back in 2006. Apple had a huge early mover advantage that is only now, 15+ years later, starting to dwindle.


macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2011
Spotify wants to raise the monthly subscription prices, they cannot do it with music being the only offer. They need to hook people and thus create a compelling reason people will stay with them when they increase their prices.

I use Overcast for podcasts and I hate that Spotify is adding it to their app. I want music!

Just sayin...

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2008
I wish there was a way to filter podcasts out of my Spotify playlists and just let me get to the music that I want.
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