Spotify buys podcast tech companies Chartable and Podsights

It's the kill or acquire playbook all over again.

Spotify announced today that it is acquiring two major podcast ad tech firms, Chartable and Podsights, in a move to expand its offerings to advertisers. Both companies offer popular tools that help brands and agencies better understand the effectiveness of their podcast ads.

In a blog post announcing the acquisitions, Spotify laid out how both companies will expand its ad platform. With Podsights, advertisers will be able to see more detailed data on who clicked on an ad and what actions they took after the fact (i.e. if they purchased the actual product). “As part of Spotify, Podsights will be able to utilize Spotify’s technology and intelligence to bring more accurate measurement and actionable insights to podcast advertisers around the world,” wrote Spotify in its post.

Chartable's two promotional tools — SmartLinks and SmartPromos — will now be available to podcasters on Spotify. SmartPromos allows podcasters to see which ads are resulting in the most downloads and essentially measure the success of their ad campaigns. SmartLinks, according to Chartable’s website, are “shareable, trackable URLs that automatically route listeners to their podcasts”. The tool allows podcasters to track both clicks and downloads.

Spotify has invested heavily in expanding its podcast offerings over the past couple of years; both by locking high-profile creators into exclusivity deals and offering podcast advertisers more bang for their buck with more detailed analytics. The Chartable acquisition in particular will build on Megaphone’s offerings; another ad tech acquisition Spotify made in 2020.

These two acquisitions are likely to sweeten the pot for both advertisers and professional podcasters looking to join Spotify. If you’ve felt that podcast ads have become more numerous over the past couple of years or so, you’re not imagining things: Spotify has expanded its ad setup with in-app ads and pre-recorded ad slots that are tailored to your listening habits. This latest deal seems positioned to make the platform a more attractive option for brands and advertisers, and to entice podcasters without a network or salespeople of their own into Spotify's walled garden.