Discoverability & diversity are two of podcasting’s biggest challenges: Spotify’s Prithi Dey

Former Editor & Content Director

Spotify’s aggressive push into podcasting in recent months should be no surprise, but there are some things about the company’s senior podcast partner manager in AUNZ, Prithi Dey, that might surprise you. Here, she talks to Vivienne Kelly about the challenges of diversity and discoverability in this booming sector. 

VK: Describe your job in one word:

PD: Collaborative

VK: If you could make a podcast about anything, what would it be?

PD: I’m a big fan of narrative storytelling centred around people’s lives. If I could make something that was anywhere as good as The Jungle Prince from the NY Times, or Dolly’s America, I’d be pretty happy. I’m an Indian born in London and it would be so interesting to bring A Dutiful Boy to life through audio.

VK: What is the biggest mistake you see in podcasting?

PD: It needs to be more diverse, especially in Australia.

At Spotify, we are constantly looking at ways to showcase the quality and diversity of Australian creators and as an industry, I think we still have some way to go. I would also say podcasting has also evolved and to be successful, podcasters need to have a clear understanding of who their audience is, and where the gaps are.

VK: What’s your prediction for where the industry will be in five years?

PD: As we can see from recent developments, anything is possible – live podcast experiences, vodcasting, user-generated engagement, mixed media formats. The world of streaming audio will continue to evolve and grow, and everyone will be touched by it in some way.

VK: What advice would you give to somebody looking to work in podcasting?

PD: If you love podcasts but you don’t necessarily want to create a show, there are lots of other opportunities in podcasting – from producing, to partnerships, editing, and programming. If your passion lies with creating a podcast, know your audience – are you addressing a content gap? Think about your structure, think about what the listener will get from your show.

VK: What is the best part of your role?

PD: Working with really smart and creative people in an exciting and evolving space where no day is the same.

VK: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

PD: Working collaboratively within a fast-paced global organisation can sometimes mean unsociable hours, but it’s worth it because my global counterparts are excellent and the business is exciting and dynamic.

VK: What about the wider industry, what challenges is it facing?

PD: There is so much content out there – which is great, but the sheer volume can provide a challenge for discoverability. That is why programming is so valuable and we created platforms such as Your Daily Drive. When we first launched, the mixed media playlist combined news with your favourite music. As podcasts have become a regular and trusted source of content, we expanded Your Daily Drive to offer entertainment, sport, knowledge and business news, making it even easier for listeners to find their next favourite podcast.

VK: What’s something about you that might surprise people?

PD: I’d consider myself an amateur street photographer – when I’m not doing podcast related things, you might find me lurking in the shadows.

VK: If you weren’t in podcasting, what do you think you’d be doing?

PD:  I’d escape to the country and look to own and manage an eco resort with my chef husband.

Entries for Radio Today’s Podcast Awards with LiSTNR are now open. Categories span podcast executive leader of the year, host or presenter of the year, branded podcast of the year and podcast company of the year. Late entries are open now until July 4. More information is available here.


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