Spotify spent a lot of money on podcasting, so it wants you to start listening, please

Listen. Spotify’s tired of screwing around here. The company spent a lot of money on podcasts. Like, a lot, a lot. And it really needs you to start listening to things, because it’s almost certainly going to spend even more in the coming years.

I mean, music is good, too, don’t get it wrong, but with between $400 and $500 million spent on the format in 2019 alone, the service is really going to need you to hold up your end of the deal here and just, pretty please start streaming the things. This week, Spotify is introducing a new button to help kickstart the habit.

First noted by The Verge, the feature is coming to users in a number of markets, including the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, limited to those users who have yet to use Spotify to listen to a podcast. I’d imagine that still applies to a broad swath of users. Spotify is still a relatively new entrant in the field, and while podcasting is growing at a rapid rate, many listeners have already settled on a player.

The service has a big lift here, attempting to distinguish itself with premium offerings in a flood of free content. Spotify certainly pushed podcasts big time in its viral year-end wrap ups, prominently featuring them among artists, even if you only listened to an episode or two.

Discovery could be a big part. That’s a puzzle many platforms are still working to crack beyond simply recommendations. The company notes that it will recommend both its own and non-Spotify podcasts with the feature. It will be interesting to see how much it pushes its own offerings, however, given the massive size of its investment.

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