Spotify looks to expand its podcast presence, buying two services - The UpStream

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Spotify looks to expand its podcast presence, buying two services

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2022 by Scott Ertz

Spotify looks to expand its podcast presence, buying two services

Over the past few years, Spotify has recognized the growth potential for the podcasting industry and has been making a series of purchases and production deals. And, while the company has been surrounded with controversy lately, they are doubling down on their podcasting commitment. This week, the company announced the purchase of two services focused on the podcasting industry: Chartable and Podsights.

The history

Shortly after getting into the podcasting space, Spotify announced the acquisition of Anchor. The service is a free podcast host that gives content creators some basic tools for creating and hosting their shows. In recent months, Spotify has also added two more hosting brands to its collection: Megaphone and Whooshkaa. These three companies give Spotify a large footprint in the hosting and ad-insertion space, though mostly with brands considered to be inferior.

The company has also gotten into direct production and distribution through deals. The highest-profile distribution deal is with The Joe Rogan Experience, a show that Spotify paid $100 million in order to become the exclusive distributor for. While this deal does technically change the nature of the show from being a podcast, the industry does not really have a term for this scenario, so we'll pretend it's still a podcast. They have also made agreements for movies based on other Spotify projects: Blackout and The Clearing.

The newest purchases

The two companies that Spotify has purchased are intended to enhance some of the shortcomings in the existing offerings. The first is Chartable, a brand that brings together statistics from a few sources, giving you a slightly better view of your listens and views from a single dashboard. It also gives you insight into a popular vanity statistic - chart rankings.

The other brand is Podsights, another statistics platform. This one, however, is focused not on the content creator but on the advertiser. It allows advertisers to get a similar view into the episodes that they have paid for their ads to run on, and see what kind of response the audience has had to the brand. Spotify intends to integrate the Podsights technology not only into their podcast offerings but also into the music side of the company.

The results

None of the services that Spotify have purchased, either earlier or this week, have been at the top of their category. They're all fairly popular, but none have been proper companies with the resources needed to continue operations. This is because many of them have offered services for little to no cost, making them an inevitable acquisition target.

But, for Spotify, the purchases don't have to be the best in the industry - they simply have to provide enough value for the cost. In this case, they are hoping to turn the Spotify platform into the go-to place for podcasts. This includes for listeners and with exclusive content, for content creators with hosting and statistics, and for advertisers with ad-insertion and statistics. Of course, they hope that this will also translate into a conversion to paid music users, as well.


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