Skip to main content

Spotify thinks its algorithm can find your next favorite podcast

Spotify thinks its algorithm can find your next favorite podcast

/

Discover Weekly but for podcasts

Share this story

Spotify

Spotify is taking its first step toward personalizing podcast recommendations with the official launch of its Your Daily Podcast playlist, which will offer listeners an automated list of podcasts they may want to check out every day. The playlist has been in testing, and the company says it’s seen positive results, which pushed it to roll out the feature to all users in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The playlist, which I’ve randomly had in testing for at least a month now, mixes podcasts that people already follow along with Spotify’s own recommendations. The team primarily considers listening history and what shows people follow to make its suggestions. The playlist will feature trailers, long podcast episodes, and smaller news bites, says Emily Rawitsch, director of product design, and the team isn’t committing to any set format or specific ratio of long episodes to short or new shows to favorites. Rawitsch also says there’s no “preferential” treatment for certain shows over others or Spotify shows versus other networks. Listeners might be shown an episode in a series they already listen to; a show about a similar topic to something they already like; a popular show in a genre they like; or a show with a host they already enjoy.

That said, Rawitsch wouldn’t offer any granular insight into how the algorithm will work in the future or how it’ll determine what content might be interesting to listeners. Unlike music, podcasts have certain features that might make them harder to qualify, like hosts’ voices, for instance, but she wouldn’t elaborate on how the company assesses these traits. It’s unclear if the team is planning to transcribe shows behind the scenes, for example, to better help the algorithm understand what people are talking about on shows or how the team tags shows around genre.

A spokeswoman on my call with Rawitsch said Spotify would focus for now on listening behavior and history more than anything else with the goal of “expanding further” with the recommendations.

Generally, this playlist represents what many have expected ever since Spotify got into podcasting: a better recommendation system. What’s less clear is whether people need or want a podcast recommendation playlist, especially if it spans hours. Even for long commutes, an hours-long playlist that refreshes every day might qualify as content overload. Podcast discovery has been an arduous process, however, with shows mostly relying on cross-promotion and platform curators to get their show in front of listeners, so this playlist could at least be the beginning of a better discovery process.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma Roth5:52 PM UTC
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.