Spotify Commits to Podcast Network with Major Acquisitions

Streaming music giant Spotify has signaled its commitment to building a leading podcast network with strategic acquisitions of podcast publishing platform Anchor and podcast content creator Gimlet Media. The purchases are part of the company’s plan to produce more original programming, grow Spotify’s audience, and eventually become the top global audio platform. Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek predicts that expanding podcast offerings will lead to a future in which non-music audio content will represent 20 percent of listening via Spotify.

“In just shy of two years, we have become the second-biggest podcasting platform,” writes Ek. “Our podcast users spend almost twice the time on the platform, and spend even more time listening to music.”

“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’,” Ek notes. “Anchor has completely reimagined the path to audio creation, enabling creation for the next generation of podcasters worldwide — 15 billion hours of content on the platform during Q4.”

According to Recode, Spotify spent around $230 million for podcast producer and network Gimlet Media. The acquisition value has yet to be released regarding Anchor, which provides content creators with tools that help them build, publish and monetize their podcasts. Spotify will continue its spending in this sector with a general plan to spend up to $500 million on podcasting this year.

Spotify reports it has 207 million monthly active users and 96 million paid subscribers, nearly twice the number of Apple Music subscribers recently announced by CEO Tim Cook.

“Spotify has already been striking deals to bring original shows to its service,” explains The Verge. “Amy Schumer’s ‘3 Girls, 1 Keith’ appeared on Spotify, and the service has also obtained exclusive streaming rights for the current season of ‘Crimetown’. Spotify’s Gimlet acquisition will certainly help lock more original content to the service, and could draw people over from rivals like Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.”

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