Spotify will recommend podcasts even if you’ve never listened before

Free users can get picks based on topics, not listening habits.

As part of its ongoing push into the increasingly lucrative world of podcasting, Spotify is making it easier for free users to get hooked on the audio format. If you've never listened to a podcast through Spotify before, the next time you scroll through the app's home screen, you'll see a new icon titled "Get podcasts for you." Tapping on it will prompt you to pick a couple of topics that interest you, after which Spotify will generate a list of personalized recommendations.

The feature is available to free users in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Mexico, Ireland and New Zealand.

It's not surprising to see Spotify continue adding new podcasting hooks to its app. In just this past year, the company made it so that you could add podcast episodes to playlists, created a daily playlist that surfaces new recommendations, and, most significantly, redesigned its mobile app to give more prominence to the format. It's all with an eye towards future profitability. According to a 2018 IAB study, podcast advertising revenue in the US alone will likely increase to $659 million by next year. The company also has to make good on the Anchor and Gimlet Media acquisitions (among others) it made earlier this year. If anything, we'll likely see even more podcasting-related features make their way to the app throughout 2020.

And if you're looking for new material, The Engadget Podcast is now available on Spotify -- with new episodes weekly.