Spotify tests new vertical scrolling feature for podcast discovery: report

Spotify is apparently testing a new ‘audio news feed’ feature for easy podcast discovery on its applications. The new interface is said to offer a TikTok-style vertical scrolling feed that contains 60-second tracks from multiple podcasts. It apparently uses a technology developed by start-up company Podz, which acquired Spotify last year. It is said that this feature is currently available to a limited number of users. These users get a dedicated ‘Podcasts’ button in the application to access the vertical feed.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Spotify uses the technology developed by Podz for this feature. It allegedly uses a machine learning model trained on 100,000 hours of audio to automatically select tracks from podcasts. Podz was acquired by Spotify in June 2021.

Product Designer Chris Messina shared a test video of this the new ‘audio news feed’ through his Twitter handle. The video displays a dedicated ‘Podcasts’ button in the application that takes users to the vertical feed. The feed is filled with podcast clips that users can enjoy with the layout, including the cover art of the accompanying podcast track. The track is transcribed as it is played with the words highlighted as they are spoken. The user can press the play button if they want to listen further to the track after the podcast. There’s also a ‘+’ button to add the episode to ‘Your Episodes’ lists. It should be noted that the new feed may undergo several changes before the final build is released.

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 can hold out because it gets more data to improve the service before launch.

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