Spotify Reportedly Testing Button That Makes It Even Easier To Create A Podcast With Zero Listeners

Photo: Richard Drew, AP

Streaming giant Spotify is testing a way to make it even easier to record a podcast that probably no one will listen to, according to findings from app researcher and tech blogger Jane Manchun Wong.

Wong, who has scooped numerous upcoming updates to popular apps by reverse-engineering them to preview features still in testing mode, found that Spotify is testing a button on its mobile app’s podcasts library labelled “Create podcast.”

That button directs users to “Make a podcast with Anchor,” a podcast-making app Spotify acquired earlier this year amid an acquisition spree that also saw it snap up Gimlet Media, which produces popular podcasts like Reply All and Crimetown.

Just push a few buttons and ramble into your phone and you can tell people you’re a podcast host, baby!

Of course, any rando who decides to start a podcast just because they saw a “Create Podcast” button is vanishingly unlikely to find a significant audience. The number of existing podcasts reportedly numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and the New York Times — a paper whose trend pieces often seem to be, umm, on a slight time delay behind the cultural gestalt — pondered whether “Peak Podcast” had already been achieved last month:

And yet the frequency with which podcasts start (and then end, or “podfade,” as it’s coming to be known in the trade) has produced a degree of cultural exhaustion. We’re not necessarily sick of listening to interesting programs; but we’re definitely tired of hearing from every friend, relative and co-worker who thinks they’re just an iPhone recording away from creating the next “Serial.”

(“Peak Podcast” has absolutely been the state of things since at least 2017 or 2018.)

As the Verge noted, the Anchor option appears to be a more casual counterpart to Soundtrap, another recent Spotify acquisition in the business of more professional podcast production software geared towards a studio environment.

In a statement to the Verge, Spotify wrote that “We are always testing new products and experiences to improve the overall Spotify experience. Some tests will eventually make way for upgrades to our product, others are only tests. We have no further news to share at this time.”

Hopefully this feature hits distribution soon, so we can all resume laying an elaborate, years-long breadcrumb trail of stupid shit we’ve said online with renewed vigour and indisputable audio evidence. In completely unrelated news, look forward to my upcoming podcast, I Hit Record Every Time I’m Really Angry And Demand You Say That Again Into My Phone Because Guess What, Pal, You’re On A Podcast I Just Created, And You Better Start Treating Me With Some Respect Or Else. 

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