Beginning today, a handful of Spotify users will see curated podcast playlists in their accounts. According to The Verge, the playlists are an experiment to help Spotify understand how it can help users discover new shows. The hand-picked lists will be broken into five categories: comedy, true crime, "geek culture," motivation and mindfulness. The Verge reports the playlists will include a mix of Spotify originals and third-party shows.
While this is just a test, it wouldn't be surprising for Spotify to bring curated podcast playlists to all users. The company has been developing curated music playlists for years -- from Discover Weekly to Release Radar. More recently, it doubled down on both personalization and podcasts. This spring Spotify said personalized playlists increased new song discovery by 35 percent, and it made its podcast intentions clear with its acquisitions of Anchor, Gimlet Media and Parcast. It's also rumored that Spotify is testing podcast suggestions for the daily commute.
As The Verge points out, it will be interesting to see how long the human-curated playlists last and if Spotify finds a way to create algorithmically generated playlists in the near future. Perhaps the company will partner with Ancestry again and create custom podcast suggestions based on your DNA.
"We're always testing new products and features to create better listening experiences for our users," a Spotify spokesperson told Engadget. "This test aims to make it easier for users to discover new podcasts while giving creators another mechanism to connect with new fans. We have no further information to share at this time."