One interesting aspect of these acquisitions is whether the podcasts will become Spotify exclusives, or whether they'll be able to be distributed elsewhere too. Spotify has hosted podcasts on its platform since 2015 and has already produced original podcasts, working with celebrities such as comedian Amy Schumer.
We are building a platform that provides a meaningful opportunity for creators, excites and engages our users, and builds an even more robust business model for Spotify in an industry we believe will become significantly larger when you add Internet-level monetization to it. But the deals for Gimlet, a producer of podcasts, and Anchor, a services company, signal the medium has progressed from a hobby to a key focus for Spotify.
"While podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential in this space", Ek said on a call with investors Wednesday morning. During its last round of funding in 2017, Gimlet was valued at about $70 million.
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The amount Spotify is looking to spend on podcast companies is greater than a year of for the entire podcasting market. Spotify now considers itself the second biggest podcasting platform in the world, behind Apple.
Either way, it seems that podcasts are coming back in force. Gimlet is known for producing the podcast "Homecoming", a fictional thriller, which was made into an Amazon series starring Julia Roberts. Anchor will bring its platform of tools for podcast creators and its established and rapidly growing creator base.
The acquisitions may also help reduce the money that Spotify pays to labels by cutting its music-streaming fees, some analysts said. "We look forward to continuing to empower creators all over the world to build an audience, generate revenue, and most importantly, have their voices heard".
"We believe it is a safe assumption that, over time, more than 20% of all Spotify listening will be non-music content", said Ek, who expects the move to "meaningfully accelerate [Spotify's] path to becoming the world's leading audio platform". 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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