Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Spotify spends millions on podcasts

Spotify buys podcast firms in bid to become world’s largest audio platform Spotify is embracing podcasting with the purchase of two podcast giants
Freda Brock | 07 February, 2019, 13:07

In the company's earnings report, Spotify shared its plans to spend $400 to $500 million on new properties this year.

Spotify has made a bold move in the battle for streaming supremacy with the "strategic acquisitions" of two media companies that focus exclusively on podcasting.

According to Recode, Spotify is around $230 million for Gimlet.

Spotify has only been in the podcasting business for about, when it first rolled out podcasts onto its already very popular music streaming service.

Many people today find podcasts through Apple's Podcast app, but Spotify has the potential to emerge as a major podcast player especially within the Android operating system, which is used by vastly more mobile-device users around the world. Anchor has a platform of tools for podcast creators as well as an established and rapidly growing creator base.

"We are still at the dawn of the second golden age of audio, and we know Spotify is a flawless partner and platform to take Gimlet - and podcasting at large - to a new level", said Gimlet founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber in a statement. During its last round of funding in 2017, Gimlet was valued at about $70 million.

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Spotify co-founder and CEO, Daniel Ek says that "these acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world's leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand".

"If the Spotify listener converts from 100 percent music to even 90 percent music, 10 percent podcasts, that's a 10 percent decrease in checks cut to other entities on behalf of that listener", wrote Tom Webster, a senior vice president at Edison Research in a blog post.

The amount Spotify is looking to spend on podcast companies is greater than a year of for the entire podcasting market. In order to take advantage of the growth Ek predicts for the audio industry in the future, Spotify will double down on podcast content.

Either way, it seems that podcasts are coming back in force.

"Gimlet is one of the best content creators in the world, with unique, celebrated podcast shows like Homecoming, which was recently adapted into a critically acclaimed show on Amazon Prime, and the internet culture hit Reply All".

In its own acquisition announcement, the podcast production and hosting platform, Anchor, stated that its platform is now powering of all new podcasts. Therefore, if the service can get more people to listen to a higher number of podcasts, maybe it can even become the world's largest.

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