Spotify and Podcasts: Increased Focus in 2019

Spotify is investing heavily in podcast production. So far this year Spotify has made two new acquisitions, Gimlet a five-year-old podcasting studio, and Anchor a podcast hosting platform, with news there are more deals in the works.

Great news for the world of podcasts, making shows available for listeners to search, stream and download. Now being one of the top streaming services with more than 200 million users, Spotify continues to build its content library even further by preparing to increase their focus and attention on podcasts.

Spotify is renowned for its personalized technology providing the listener with recommendations suited specifically to them. The company plans on doing the same with podcasts, updating their interface to make access easier for both the listener and podcast creators.

Spotify offers its recently launched podcast submission feature to everyone.

Although Spotify does not host the podcasts directly, they do make new episodes of a show available as soon as the creator uploads them. All that is needed is the podcast’s RSS feed, much like you do when adding your show to Apple Podcasts or other services.

The Spotify for Podcasters program is in beta, with show creators having access to daily updated stats on factors including how well episodes are performing, audience demographics, followers, listener locations and engagement. This in-depth analytics will prove extremely valuable to podcasters wanting to understand their listeners and will be especially useful if the goal is to attract paying advertisers.

Spotify is encouraging podcasters to either bring their voices in-house, or at least exclusively license their content. Spotify’s collection of original podcasts has been steadily growing over the past year. They have been using these originals to sell their own advertisements since 2018. With more exclusives planned for this year, Spotify’s ad business will focus even more on podcasts.

The company found that podcasters who joined Spotify exclusively were actually able to grow their audience, despite leaving other platforms. For example, Spotify nabbed an exclusive deal with the “Joe Budden Podcast” and the show had its highest streaming day ever after joining Spotify.

Spotify is hoping that influencers in the world of podcasting will bring their listeners with them when they become a Spotify exclusive. It’s their belief that the shows following will further grow by tapping into Spotify’s large music base. A win-win for all.

“The addition of podcasts has reoriented Spotify’s focus as a company”, said the head of Spotify Studios Courtney Holt.

“We’re an audio company. We’re trying to be the world’s best audio service. It’s a pure play for us. We’re seeing increased engagement; there’s great commercial opportunities from podcasting that we’ve never seen on the platform… and, obviously, exclusives are to give us something that makes the platform truly unique — to have people come to Spotify for something you can’t get anywhere else is the sort of the cherry on top of that entire strategy,” Holt said.

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Reference article: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/10/spotifys-increased-focus-on-podcasts-in-2019-includes-selling-its-own-ads/