Spotify has bought another audio platform, and this time it's hoping to bring radio into the modern era. The streaming company has acquired Whooshkaa, an Australia-based firm that offers a tool to convert radio broadcasters' shows into podcasts. Spotify plans to integrate the tech into its Megaphone suite for podcasters with a clear goal — stations could further profit from shows by offering ad-supported podcast episodes.
Whooshkaa might also boost some of Spotify's other efforts. Founder Rob Loewenthal noted Whooshkaa also had speech-to-text (and text-to-speech) technology, smart home integration and "enterprise grade" podcasting tools. Neither Spotify nor Whooshkaa mentioned using this tech to auto-transcribe podcasts or otherwise augment podcasting features, but it wouldn't be surprising if some of this know-how carried over.
The appeal of the purchase is clear. If Spotify can persuade more radio networks to offer podcasts, it could expand its catalog and lure more listeners. Even if few of those shows become exclusives, Spotify could thrive as radio listening declines and more stations look for ways to supplement their usual on-air ads.