Spotify Is Investing Heavily in Podcasts
Podcasts first appeared on Spotify in 2018. In the beginning, it was like many podcast platforms. Creators provided an RSS feed for their podcasts, and then people could listen to episodes on Spotify. They weren’t actually being hosted by Spotify.
However, as Spotify saw how much easier it is to monetize podcasts, the company pushed hard to become a player in the space. In 2019, it acquired Gimlet Media, a popular podcast production company, and Anchor, a podcast hosting platform. Just like that, Spotify was in the business of making and hosting its own podcasts.
That brings us to today. Spotify is now the exclusive home for podcasts such as The Michelle Obama Podcast, An Oral History of The Office, StartUp, and many other shows. Many of these “Spotify Original” podcasts can only be listened to on Spotify, and boy do they want you to do that.
Spotify Won’t Stop Pushing Podcasts
Let’s demonstrate the problem. Below, you’ll see what Spotify greets me with when I launch the Spotify app.
At the top, I get a few of my recently/frequently played playlists and albums. That’s handy. Underneath that, however, is a section for podcasts taking up much more space. Currently, it’s recommending shows and episodes about “The Music You Love, Dissected”—which just so happens to include several podcasts that Spotify produces.
This section of the Home tab is always dedicated to podcasts. The most annoying thing? I don’t subscribe to any podcasts on Spotify. It’s not something I have ever used, but Spotify won’t stop bugging me about podcasts.
It’s more of the same on the mobile apps: The same section at the top of the screen, a spot for new releases from artists I follow under that, and then the same podcast section that we saw above. It’s a slight improvement over the desktop, but as someone who is not using Spotify for podcasts at all, it’s just a nuisance.
The stuff that’s constantly being pushed out of the way by this podcast section is what I actually want to see. “Recently Played,” “Made for Joe” playlists, “More of What You Like,” and other personalized music suggestions. Because that’s what I use Spotify for—music.
Please Let People Hide Podcasts!
Let people decide how they want to use Spotify. If you listen to podcasts on Spotify, it makes sense to see recommendations for podcasts. If I only listen to music on Spotify, that’s all I should see. An occasional reminder that Spotify has podcasts is understandable, but when it’s actively making me dislike the service, that’s going too far.
Don’t push away existing customers by shoving unwanted features in their faces. I just want to listen to music.