Spotify Expands Its Podcast+Music Combo Playlist Strategy Into Germany

Spotify Podcasts by Spencer Camp

Spotify is launching its personalized mix of music, news, and podcasts in Germany. Will the strategy be successful?

Last month Spotify announced that US users can combine music and podcasts within their playlists. Users can add podcasts to existing playlists or start a new one. The feature gives podcast promoters access to playlists, but it’s unclear if users want mixed playlists.

Spotify has experimented with the concept on its own. The ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist features a personalized mix of music, news, and podcasts to emulate radio listening while driving.

Now, the ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist is available to listeners in Germany with short-form podcasts. It includes content from Deutschlandfunk: Nachrichten, Spiegel Update, and Zeit Online: Was Jetzt? Spotify says the playlist will be updated throughout the day to keep the music and news fresh.

Apple’s not so convinced this is a winning strategy ⁠— and neither are we.

Apple says users want to keep their music and podcast listening separate. It’s fine to go to the same app for the content, but Apple doesn’t think podcast listeners want music in their playlists. I’m inclined to agree.

While I can see the value of a podcast-only playlist, mixing in music throws everything off. Most podcasts are spoken-word content that delivers information or inspires thinking in the listener. Spotify is hoping to blur those lines, betting that users prefer a programmed blend instead of switching between formats when they feel like it.

So it Spotify pursuing a winning strategy here? The company’s $500 million bet on podcast original content has been paying off so far. Podcast revenue is estimated to swell beyond $1 billion in the next few years. This is obviously a lucrative market that will continue to grow, but I doubt music and podcasts will mix well in playlists.

But who knows, maybe I’m wrong about that.