Spotify now lets you mix tunes and talk with podcast playlists

Playlists are the lifeblood of the Spotify service. How popular are they? There are more than 3 billion user-generated playlists, according to the company. Well, get ready for that number to grow considerably: Spotify has added the ability to create new playlists of podcasts, as well as the option of adding podcasts to existing music-only playlists.

Given Spotify’s huge focus on podcasts, the move isn’t surprising. Getting its subscribers to listen to more podcasts is clearly a part of its strategy here, and Spotify has previously said that it wants to be about more than just music. “Over time, more than 20% of all Spotify listening will be non-music content.” But the company also says its customers have been asking for this feature.

It’s not the first time Spotify has experimented with the idea of mixing podcasts with music. Earlier this year, the company created a limited-availability playlist called Your Daily Drive, which did just that, as a way of mimicking the morning format that is so popular among listeners of terrestrial radio. With the ability to add podcasts to playlists, users can make their own Daily Drive experiences — perfect for road trips, as Spotify correctly points out.

The new feature also helps to keep Spotify one step ahead of the competition. In September 2019, YouTube Music cloned one of Spotify’s most popular playlists with its version of Discover Weekly. Copying music-based features that Spotify has popularized is low-hanging fruit, relatively speaking, but podcast-based playlists could be a lot harder to duplicate — especially if the podcasts in question are owned by Spotify.

The new playlist feature is mobile-only for now, at least in terms of playlist creation. Once a new podcast-based playlist has been created, it can be streamed on any Spotify-compatible device. Here’s how it works:

  1. Navigate to a podcast episode you want to add to a playlist.
  2. Tap the three dots to the right of the track or episode.
  3. Tap “Add to playlist.”
  4. Select a playlist you’ve already created you like to add it to, or, tap to create a new playlist from scratch.

Once you’re happy with your creation, you can share it with all of the usual folks, just as you would with any other playlist.