Having established itself as a high streaming service with now over 200 million users, Spotify this 12 months is getting ready to focus extra of its consideration on podcasts. The corporate plans deliver its personalization know-how to podcasts in an effort to make higher suggestions, replace its app’s interface so folks can entry podcasts extra simply, and dealer extra exclusives with podcast creators. It’s additionally moving into the enterprise of promoting advertisements inside podcasts, as a method of producing income from this more and more standard type of audio programming.
In actual fact, Spotify has already begun to dabble in podcast advert gross sales, forward of this bigger push.
Spotify, we’ve discovered, has been promoting its personal ads in its authentic podcasts since mid-2018 12 months, together with in applications like Spotify Authentic “Amy Schumer Presents: three Women, 1 Keith,” “The Joe Budden Podcast,” “Dissect,” “Showstopper,” and others. With extra exclusives deliberate for the 12 months forward, the portion of Spotify’s advert enterprise centered on podcasts can even develop.
The corporate seems to be taking a unique strategy to working with podcasters than it does with it involves working with music artists.
Right this moment, Spotify provides artists instruments that assist share their work and be found – it invested in distribution platform DistroKid, for instance, and now lets artists submit tracks for playlist consideration. With podcasters, nonetheless, Spotify desires to both deliver their voices in-house, or no less than completely license their content material.
“Over the past 12 months, we turn into very centered on constructing out an amazing podcast universe,” mentioned Head of Spotify Studios Courtney Holt, talking on the Shopper Electronics Present (CES) in Las Vegas this week. “Step one was to be sure that we’ve received the world’s greatest podcasts on Spotify, and built-in the expertise into the service in a manner that allowed folks to construct habits and habits there,” he mentioned.
“What we began to see is that the forms of podcasts that actually have been engaged on Spotify have been ones the place they have been actually genuine voices…so we simply determined to speculate extra in these forms of voices,” Holt added.
Spotify’s assortment of originals has been steadily rising over the previous 12 months. Final August, for instance, Spotify nabbed an exclusive deal with the “Joe Budden” podcast, which is aimed toward hip-hop and rap tradition followers, and launched its first branded podcast, “Ebb & Flow,” centered on hip-hop and R&B. Its full authentic lineup as we speak additionally contains “Dissect,” Amy Schumer’s “three Women, 1 Keith,” “Mogul,” “The Rewind with Man Raz,” “Showstopper,” “Unpacked,” “Crimetown” (Its first season was broad, second season is unique to Spotify), “UnderCover,” and “El Chapo: El Jefe y su Juicio.”
At CES, Spotify introduced the addition of another – journalist Jemele Hill is coming Spotify with an unique podcast known as “Unbothered,” which is able to characteristic high-profile friends in sports activities, music, politics, tradition, and extra.
In rising its assortment of originals, the corporate discovered that podcasters who joined Spotify completely have been really capable of develop their viewers, regardless of leaving different distribution platforms.
For instance, the Joe Budden podcast had its highest streaming day ever after becoming a member of Spotify.
This has led Spotify to imagine that influencers within the podcast group will be capable to deliver their group with them after they turn into a Spotify unique, after which additional develop their listener base by tapping into Spotify’s bigger music person base and, quickly, an improved advice system.
There are different perks for Spotify, too – when customers come to Spotify and start to take heed to podcasts, they usually then spend extra time engaged with the app, it discovered.
“Individuals who devour podcasts on Spotify are consuming extra of Spotify – together with music,” mentioned Holt. “So we discovered that in growing our [podcast] catalog and spending extra time to make the person expertise higher, it wasn’t taking away from music, it was enhancing the general time spent on the platform,” he famous.
Whereas chasing unique offers to deliver extra authentic podcasts to Spotify can be an enormous initiative this 12 months, Spotify will proceed to supply its just lately launched podcasts submission characteristic to everybody else.
With this type of fundamental infrastructure in place, Spotify now desires to assist customers uncover new podcasts and enhance the listening expertise.
One facet of this can contain pointing listeners to different podcast content material they might like.
As an illustration, Spotify may level Joe Budden followers to different podcasts about hip-hop and rap. It is going to additionally leverage its multi-year partnership with Samsung to permit listeners choose up the place they left off in an episode as they transfer between completely different gadgets. And it’ll flip its personalization and advice know-how to podcasts – together with the advertisements within the podcasts themselves.
“Take into consideration what we’ve performed round music – the extra perceive you across the music you stream, the extra we are able to personalize the advert expertise. Now we are able to take that to podcasts,” mentioned Brian Benedik, VP and International Head of Promoting Gross sales at Spotify, when requested concerning the potential for Spotify promoting advertisements in podcasts.
The corporate has been testing the waters with its personal podcast advert gross sales since mid 2018, Benedik mentioned. The gross sales are dealt with in-house by Spotify’s advert gross sales workforce in the meanwhile.
Benedik had additionally appeared on a panel this week at CES, the place he talked concerning the worth of contextual promoting – which means, advertisements that may be personalised to the person based mostly on elements like temper, habits and moments. This information could possibly be interesting to podcast advertisers, as nicely.
However to scale its efforts round podcast advertisements, Spotify might want to spend money on digital advert insertion know-how. We’re listening to that Spotify is presently deciding whether or not that’s one thing it desires to construct in-house or purchase outright.
Spotify’s rival Pandora went the latter route. It closed on the acquisition of adtech company Adswizz in May 2018, then launched capabilities for shorter, more personalized ads in August. By November, Pandora introduced it was bringing its Genome technology to podcasts, which allowed for a advice system.
Now Spotify goals to catch up.
The addition of podcasts has reoriented Spotify’s focus as firm, Holt mentioned.
“We’re an audio firm. We’re making an attempt to be the world’s greatest audio service,” he informed the viewers at CES. “It’s a pure play for us. We’re seeing elevated engagement; there’s nice business alternatives from podcasting that we’ve by no means seen on the platform…And, clearly, exclusives are to provide us one thing that makes the platform really distinctive – to have folks come to Spotify for one thing you may’t get wherever else is the type of cherry on high of that total technique,” Holt mentioned.
Picture credit: Spotify