The Vision Behind 'Your Daily Podcasts'

We chatted with Director of Product Design Emily Rawitsch on everything podcasters need to know about our new daily personalized playlist.

Today, we launched our first personalized podcast playlist — Your Daily Podcasts. It's a daily personalized podcast playlist that gives listeners an easy way to discover new shows while also keeping up with old favorites. It also is a powerful new way for podcasters to stay top-of-mind with their current fans — and find new listeners, too. To help creators understand a bit more about our vision for Your Daily Podcasts and what it means for their shows, we chatted with Emily Rawitsch, Director of Product Design in Spotify’s personalization group, whose team developed the feature.

Spotify for Podcasters: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for designing Your Daily Podcasts.

Emily Rawitsch: This is all very exciting. We just launched our first personalized podcast playlist! (That’s some serious alliteration with the letter P.)

At Spotify, our goal is to be the number one destination for the best in audio content. Our inspiration for Your Daily Podcasts truly centers around the needs of our listeners and helping them make sense of hundreds of thousands of shows across the world. It can be overwhelming and difficult for listeners to keep up with their favorite podcasts or discover new ones. This playlist helps solve both of these use cases in a listener-centric way. It’s designed to be the shortest path to a great podcast experience.

What are some of the key differences in designing for podcast discovery vs. music discovery?

Podcasts share similarities with music. Both connect you with culture in a deep, personal way. When designing for discovery — whether it’s podcasts or music — we put the listener at the center of our knowledge graph to match a mood or moment.

That being said, there are also differences. For music discovery, people often think about things like genre and tempo, such as up-beat pop. For podcast discovery, deciding to stream an episode takes commitment. It can come down to the topic, host personalities, or length of podcast. And then there is the type of podcast. When we recommend the next best episode for each listener, that might be where you left off in a sequential podcast, a recent stand-alone evergreen episode in another show, or a timely episode from a daily podcast.

Emily Rawitsch, Director of Product Design in Spotify's personalization group
Emily Rawitsch, Director of Product Design in Spotify's personalization group

Your Daily Podcasts will include a mix of episodes from shows that listeners already stream — and from new ones we think they might like. From a design perspective, how do we think about that balance?

Balance. That’s such a great topic for life and design. When it comes to familiarity vs. discovery, my take is that most people aren’t just looking for one vs. the other. It’s both. It fluctuates and evolves over time during a user’s listening journey. Your Daily Podcasts is building off what we’ve learned from music discovery with playlists like Daily Mix — which is rooted in familiarity and peppers in discovery. Your Daily Podcasts starts with episodes that are familiar to you, which is then followed by different shows to try.

For podcasters, Your Daily Podcasts provides a great new way to engage current fans and reach new listeners. How do we recommend the podcasts that are included?

For recommendations within Your Daily Podcasts, we’re using what we’ve learned from music, and how user-centric recommendations can scale new content discovery. Simply put, it’s based on listening history. Our algorithms analyze each listener’s podcast behavior — like recent streams and follows — and we consider the type of content, such as genre, host, topic and length of podcast.

The more our algorithm can learn about your show and your listeners, the more accurately we can recommend episodes. So, if you’re a podcaster, tell listeners to follow you on Spotify — that’s a great sign for our system to know who loves your show. Whenever listeners stream your show on Spotify, it helps us learn more about your audience.

How do you hope Your Daily Podcasts fits into the lives of podcast listeners?

We hope this becomes one of their go-to sources for podcast discovery. For me personally, I am very much a creature of habit. I tend to listen to podcasts that will inspire me at work with topics like innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. In listening to my version of Your Daily Podcasts, I’ve already discovered some hidden gems that I’ve never heard of before. This is just the beginning of my podcast binge listening...!

—Spotify for Podcasters