Podcasts are once again, the "next big thing". No, seriously -- with the surprise hit that is Serial reviving interest in a battleground thought lost to vloggers, the podcast is enjoying a serious resurgence in popularity. It seems Spotify wants in.
Developer Ethan Lee has spotted code in a test build of the Spotify app that makes explicit reference to podcasts and the ability to subscribe to them, suggesting that the streaming service is looking to integrate podcast support into its apps. Though podcasts are free to tune in to, Spotify does have a reason to support them. If it can keep you within its desktop or mobile apps rather than jumping to a standalone podcast player, it can keep making money off you -- especially if you're one of its many free listeners, being served ads between tracks.
While Spotify has been known to kill test features before they ever reach the public, this sort of extra functionality is just what it needs as it moves ever more towards being a real iTunes competitor. And it'll be kind of hip, too -- podcasts are the digital equivalent of the cassette tape these days, so Spotify will surely earn some hipster-nostalgia brownie points for supporting them. [TechCrunch]