Since introducing podcasts to its streaming platform in 2016, Spotify has grown to become the second-largest place for podcasts with over 20 percent of its traffic in non-music content. Furthermore, podcast listeners typically listen twice as long per session than the average Spotify user.
The Swedish company is looking to gain ground on that front by acquiring not one, but two podcast companies: Gimlet, a producer of popular shows such as “Reply All,” “StartUp,” and “Crimetown,” and Anchor, a distribution company.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek positions the pickups as a way to extend its position as a global leader in not just music, but audio.
Ultimately, if we are successful, we will begin competing more broadly for time against all forms of entertainment and informational services, and not just music streaming services. We welcome this. Fair competition on an even playing field is what yields the most creative output and innovation, and will result in the best experience for listeners and creators.
Anchor, itself a startup from 2014, has grown to serve “more than 40% of all new podcasts” and has just recently introduced an adserve model. Gimlet, which sells merchandise and extra content off the back of its franchises, may provide a marketing model as well as content expertise that can be bought by other producers.