Issue 235,  published November 19, 2019

Spotify launches personalized podcast playlist

In a move that builds on its various adventures in playlisting, the aspiring all-consuming audio platform is rolling out a new podcast discovery feature that’s more or less Discover Weekly, but for podcasts. It’s pretty much what you think it is: an algorithmically-driven tool that analyzes the podcast consumption behavior of a user — recent streams, follows, etc. — to generate podcast playlist with episodes that may be of interest to the user.

The feature, called Your Daily Podcasts, launches today, and it’s accessible by both free and premium Spotify users in Australia,  Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, the US, and the UK. Something to note: according to the circulated press release, users can only receive the feature if they’ve listened to four podcasts within the last 90 days.

On the one hand, I’m interested to see where this goes, speaking as a person who generally appreciates Discover Weekly, which has served up some bangers off a somewhat reasonable hit-miss ratio. On the other hand, this is pretty much the kind of thing that horrifies/infuriates the corner of the podcasting universe that views the medium as a reprieve from the rest of the Internet. On the third hand (to the extent that people have three hands), the tension between those first two hands is one that has long defined the past few years of this space: can you solve its problems while maintaining its fundamental, ideologically rooted promises?