Spotify, one of the world’s largest audio platforms, is buying podcast companies Gimlet and Anchor and is spending up to $500 million on these podcast-related acquisitions.
Gimlet Media makes “Reply All” and other popular shows, while Anchor enables anyone to easily create their own podcasts.
“Gimlet is one of the best content creators in the world, with unique, celebrated podcast shows such as “Homecoming” … and the internet culture hit “Reply All,” Ek said. “And 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 [the fourth quarter].”
Spotify is known as a music app and has made a name in the industry, but CEO Daniel Ek has now set his sights on creating his company’s own exclusive releases.
That being said, Spotify is heavily investing in the podcast space so it can play the role of a big player:
“Our podcast users spend almost twice the time on the platform, and spend even more time listening to music,” Ek said in a statement. “We have also seen that by having unique programming, people who previously thought Spotify was not right for them will give it a try.”
Spotify seems to be very confident that it will get a return on this investment thanks to the results it got recently.
The company reported that it had 96 million subscribers by the end of 2018, which is a 36 percent increase from the year before.
It also had 207 million using its service at least once a month, including all those who listen to Spotify free with ads.
These figures exceeded what the company had predicted, so it makes sense for the company to have ambitious plans. This decision emerged with a recent company ascertainment.
Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer, Gustav Söderström, said in an interview with TechCrunch: “We saw a lot of users listening to podcasts. It was kind of unexpected and we didn’t really understand why. It turned out people really wanted to have podcasts in Spotify with their music. If you look at radio, it’s not that surprising.”