As part of its efforts to make podcasts easier to discover, Spotify on Tuesday rolled out at least 18 new curated podcast playlists that are categorized into different genres and categories. Each will be curated by Spotify’s in-house editorial team and updated regularly. The move is meant to solve the problem people often face with discovering new podcasts to suit their interests, the company said in a statement.
Three of the playlists that Spotify is rolling out this week in the US, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Mexico and Brazil include ‘Best Podcasts of the Week’, ‘Brain Snacks’ and ‘Crime Scene’. They’ll contain local content in each country and will be curated by Spotify employees who are being hired specifically for the purpose.
Spotify is also launching 15 other podcast categories, including a ‘Murder Monday’ playlist with murder stories, a ‘Who Runs the World’ playlist highlighting inspirational women and ‘This Week in Hollywood’ about celebrity news and gossip. The company will also notify creators via a new tool in the ‘Spotify for Creators’ dashboard whenever one of their episodes is included in a playlist.
Some creators, however, are wary of the new move because they expect the company to promote its own podcasts via the new playlists. As pointed out by The Verge, Spotify produces a whole host of podcasts itself, thanks to its ownership of companies like Gimlet Media, Parcast, Anchor and its own Spotify Studios. That being the case, the new developments is raising questions about whether the company will use the playlists to promote its own content at the expense of independent podcasters.
Spotify’s VP and Global Head of Studios & Video, Courtney Holt, however, dismissed all suggestions of unfair practices, saying that the curators will do the job independently. “The product only works if it has editorial integrity, and our editors have been given directive to pick what the best content is. It really has very little to do with whether or not we’ve made it”, he said.