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Bloomberg: Spotify is planning another big podcast push

Still investing in the field...slowly.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
July 31, 2017
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Spotify started its new year getting into the podcast game when it announced it was bringing on its first original content in a trio of music-related shows. Then in March, it partnered with WNYC to bring its podcasts to the platform. While Apple still dominates the space, Spotify is steaming ahead with more podcast-focused advertising and original content: Sources told Bloomberg that a new batch of shows will launch in a few months.

Podcasts will get their own dedicated tab in the platform's "browse" section, too, at some point. The company's investment remains experimental, but it will begin a new campaign to lure in more listeners to its limited podcast offerings. In exchange for promoting certain shows within the Spotify app and on bus ads, the hosts of "Reply All," "Pod Save America" and "The Bill Simmons Podcast" will promote the streaming service during episodes.

The reasons are mostly financial: Podcast ad revenue is expected to increase 85 percent this year to $220 million. As Bloomberg points out, 15 percent of Americans listen to podcasts weekly, while a quarter listen to at least one a month. Podcasts, as longer-form media than songs, might keep users around for longer sessions (ergo, more ad money) than a three-minute song. Plus, the streaming titan could get non-music content for a lower price, given that royalties to record labels made up an astonishing 75 percent of Spotify's costs last year.

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