Spotify Podcast Image HeroSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Spotify is acquiring Podz.
  • Podz is a podcast discovery service that used AI to generate highlights of a particular podcast, letting users sample 60-seconds of a show before committing.
  • Spotify plans to integrate this technology into its apps before the end of the year.

Spotify's podcasts ambitions continue to expand by acquiring Podz, a small company that specializes in machine learning-powered podcast discovery. The company announced the acquisition on Friday, noting that the Podz team will be integrated into Spotify's main development team, with visible changes appearing in the app by the end of the year. Android Central reached out to Spotify to get clarification on the precise purchase value, Spotify did not reply in time for publication

Podz generates high-quality clips and previews that allow users to sample podcasts they may be interested in without needing to make the initial time commitment. In essence, you get a highlight reel of a podcast to help you decide if you'd like it or not. Spotify wants to use this technology to drive interest in its podcasts, all 2.6 million of them.

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Speaking to TechCrunch, M13 General Partner Latif Peracha and Podz investor said:

Already, the average podcast listener subscribes to seven podcasts but follows almost 30 on Podz. Early signals make us optimistic the team can build a transformative product in the category.

Spotify has been building up its cachet as a podcasts service slowly over the past two years. Aside from launching itself as a podcast aggregator, the company has recently started curating its own slate of original podcasts. It may seem a departure from its original goal but competitors like Apple and Google have joined in seeing music and podcasts as intertwined. The acquisition of Podz could help Spotify retain more customers on the podcasting side of things. If this is successful, then it'll be able to bring in more creators into building exclusives for its platform.

Aside from its purchase of Podz, Spotify recently joined in the audio chat phenomenon with its new Clubhouse-competitor, Greenroom. That update is rolling out to customers immediately.