Spotify’s new app design splits music and podcasts
Spotify has been working on a new design for its home tab that will create separate feeds for your music and your podcasts. The company says it’s part of an effort to give you more and better recommendations, but it also addresses a common criticism of the Spotify experience: With any kind of audio being put together in the app, it can be difficult at times. to find out.
The new home feed, which is rolling out now for Android users and coming to iOS “in the near future,” doesn’t actually look all that different at first glance. But at the top of the screen are two new buttons: one for Music and one for Podcasts & Shows. Tapping on any of these will take you to individual feeds. Music shows you suggestions based on what you’ve been listening to, while Podcasts & Shows show you the latest episodes of your favorite shows and recommendations for new ones. It’s not so much new home screens as new filters for your home screen. (I’d rather they just be separate tabs, but I’ll take what I can get.)
The change seems especially useful for podcast listeners, as it turns Spotify into something much closer to an actual podcast app. It’s been strangely difficult until now to open Spotify and find a podcast to listen to; Spotify usually chose to mix podcasts and music, relegating your podcast feed to a playlist called “New Episodes.” The company seems to be endlessly redesigning its library page, but the home screen has remained largely the same for the past few years.
Now podcasts are much more central, which is a win for listeners, but also an indication of how important podcasts are to Spotify. Desperate for ways to monetize audio, the company has invested heavily to become the largest podcast player on the market. It’s also making a big push in video, which is also the kind of feature that needs a dedicated space in the app. (And let’s not even talk about audiobooks, which are a completely different kind of audio product and even harder to integrate into Spotify.)
Part of Spotify’s whole plan to dominate audio was to bring everything – from music to books to podcasts to live audio – all in one place. That’s a tricky UI issue and one that the company hasn’t always solved well. In this case, it seems that giving things their own space is the right choice. And it gives Spotify tons of new ways to try and get you to listen to Joe Rogan and the rest of his pods.