Spotify has made several podcast moves in the last few years to solidify itself as a leader and a go to for podcasts. Spotify literally has billions on their balance sheets earmarked for growth and investment. That kind of money is hard to compete with. And is a direct path to becoming the powerhouse in all things podcasting.
They were willing to spend the money to compete, and at this point Spotify is the leader in the space overtaking Apple Podcasts that has made little to no significant moves in the space.
Spotify acquired Anchor in 2019 getting them directly in the podcast distribution space. More recently, Spotify released video podcasts where Anchor podcasts were able to upload video files to getting a video player of your podcast on Spotify. Adding a whole new level of exposure before only available to a handful of podcasts on Spotify.
Gimlet Media was acquired at the same time as Anchor which added a industry renowned producer of podcast content.
Anchor and Gimlet were acquired for 340 million.
A month later Spotify acquired Parcast for 56 million and added another podcast studio focused on creating scripted and story-driven programming.
Not to mention investing in Spotify exclusives like The Joe Rogan experience which now seems was attracted by a 200 million dollar bag and not the 100 million many speculated before. Other names like the Obamas and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have exclusive shows on the platform as well.
In 2020 Spotify purchased Megaphone as an advertising and publishing play. Megaphone has a monthly cost and a 50% revenue split, but the platform is important for one big reason. The podcasts control their own ad inventory.
In 2021 Spotify acquired Podz that added a key piece to help listeners discover new podcasts. With this acquisition, Spotify hopes Podz technology will complete and speed up their discoverability capabilities.
In December of 2021 Spotify acquired Whooshkaa which is and Australian podcasting platform that allows radio broadcasters to turn their shows into monetizable podcasts. Whooshkaa's technology will be integrated with Megaphone. The move should bring in more radio broadcasters into the podcasting space with an easy transition.
With Podsights and Chartable, Spotify levels up their digital audio insights capabilities. This could be huge in terms of integration in general including with more podcast insights pulling into Anchor which analytics capabilities are on the lighter side in terms of insights provided. Not to mention with the potential integration with the Spotify backend and those podcasters that have access to their Spotify for Podcasters dashboard.
With a hefty war chest expect more acquisitions in the near future in terms of covering all Spotify's bases when it comes to podcasts.