Spotify is looking to expand its podcast library

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Fazeel Ashraf
IT graduate from Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology with a passion for writing. When not reading or writing, I can be found listening to rock and metal or playing some classic jams on my electric guitar. I’m also a big fan of horror movies.

Spotify now has 200 million users worldwide. And while the company has been “all about the music” in the past, it is now looking to expand its podcast library.

For starters, the company plans on making its podcasts libraries much more personalized by applying its music suggestion algorithm to podcast listeners. Users will get both improved podcast recommendations and a better user interface.

Courtney Holt, the Head of Spotify Studios said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas:

“Over the last year, we become very focused on building out a great podcast universe. The first step was to make sure that we’ve got the world’s best podcasts on Spotify, and integrated the experience into the service in a way that allowed people to build habits and behavior there.”

Spotify is also looking to land exclusive contracts with several podcast creators.

Spotify is also to profit off of this popular content format by selling ads within podcasts. They’ve been selling ads since the second quarter of 2018 on podcasts such as Spotify Original “Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith,” “The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory and Mal,” “Dissect,” “Showstopper,” and many others.

The company will be taking a different approach with podcasts compared to its music catalog. In the past, Spotify has given tools to artists so they could distribute their music to other platforms as well. They’ve also let indie artists upload their music independently. But the company wants exclusive deals with in-house voices when it comes to podcasts.

For example, Spotify just announced the addition of journalist Jemele Hill to host its exclusive podcast “Unbothered.” The podcast will feature Hill interviewing high-profile guests from the world of sports, music, politics, culture, and more.

The company believes that bringing in podcasters and signing them on as exclusive creators will help attract their fans and followers to Spotify’s platform. This will help grow Spotify’s overall audience, which of course translates into greater revenue. Spotify has been paving the way for original podcasts since mid-2018.

The company also noted that new content means that users will spend more time on the platform. This is good news for Spotify’s music catalog.

And Spotify is keeping its open podcast submissions tool. Independent podcasters will still be able to post their podcasts on Spotify by simply pasting in a URL. Once they have uploaded their podcast onto Spotify, they’ll be able to view stats about their podcasts as well, including total listeners and the number of listeners from each country.

For now, Spotify will need to assure that they can gather and customize the ads necessary to support the new podcast library. 

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