Friday, January 27, 2023

Spotify begins testing TikTok-inspired podcast feed

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Spotify made a low-key purchase last year, purchasing Podz, a podcast discovery site, for a little less than $50 million, according to reports. Thankfully, the name has been dropped, but the technology from Podz is powering a new user interface test that is now being rolled out to certain Spotify customers. It has been added to the toolbar a button that opens a TikTok-style feed of podcasts, which may be useful for finding your next pod-binge. Alternatively, if this change bothers you, there are alternative music streaming services available.

Anyone who has ever used TikTok, or even just sat by and watched someone else aimlessly scroll through it, will be able to quickly grasp the new design on Spotify’s mobile application. You may scroll among podcasts by swiping up on the screen, and each one will begin playing as soon as it appears on the screen. Each of these samples is 60 seconds long and is meant to give you a taste of the material. If you like what you hear, you may either start listening to the episode right away or store it for later listening. A demonstration may be seen in their Tweet.

The algorithm developed by Podz, which does not depend on podcast makers to provide their own clips, is most likely the secret to this feature’s effectiveness. According to TechCrunch, it makes use of machine learning that has been trained on more than 100,000 hours of podcast audio to achieve this result. I have no idea where in the world they placed that bot, but the findings are now being made available to a select group of Spotify customers. Due to the fact that this is simply a test, Spotify may decide to cancel or significantly change the experience before releasing it.

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