Spotify has announced the acquisition of two podcast companies: Anchor, which provides a distribution and monetization tool for podcast creators, and Gimlet Media, a startup podcast producer. While Spotify, which is now the second-largest podcasting platform in the world, already supports podcasts produced by Gimlet, such as StartUp and Reply All, the deal will bolster Spotify’s capabilities for developing its own original content portfolio. According to Ovum’s Podcast Market Forecast: 2018-23, the number of monthly podcast listeners will surpass 1.0 billion in 2020, and this growing audience will become increasingly valuable to industry players and advertisers, with podcast advertising revenue expected to increase by 49% in 2019.
Figure 1: The podcast industry will rise rapidly over the coming years
Monthly podcast listeners (m) vs podcast advertising revenue ($m)
“These deals signal a wider move by industry players to reposition themselves as ‘audio’ companies, with access to music, radio and podcasts beginning to come under one roof. The question remains as to whether core podcast audiences, which are typically engaged and loyal, will migrate from specialist platforms to services like Spotify, which offer a broader approach. However, the tried and tested technique Gimlet has perfected when generating its own content and Anchor’s technical expertise will offer Spotify valuable insight for when it inevitably begins to produce its own, original podcast portfolio,” said Georgina Howes, Media Research Analyst in Ovum’s Media and Entertainment team.