Spotify Acquires Gimlet Media, Anchor in Podcast Push

Spotify Acquires Gimlet Media, Anchor in Podcast Push

Spotify did not specify the cost of acquiring the podcasting companies but did say it would invest between 400 and 500 million dollars this year for multiple acquisitions.

Webster said he thought Spotify's acquisition into podcasting also could push more labels to become more open to letting podcasts use licensed music.

Spotify announced it has acquired podcast development company Gimlet Media and back-end podcasting services firm Anchor on Wednesday with its Q4 2018 earnings report.

The value of the Gimlet purchase was put at $230 million by Recode, a technology website.

Despite very loudly banging the spoken word drum - the intention is to become the leading producer of podcasts across the globe - Ek said that music retains a huge level of importance for Spotify.

Spotify's acquisition of Gimlet is the largest the podcast industry has ever seen, and by a handsome margin.

The platform generated sales of 1.5 billion euros for the quarter, up 30 percent year-on-year, while its net profit totaled 442 million euros.

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Podcasts have enjoyed a popularity boost in recent years, with weekly listening numbers reaching a high of 48 million in the United States in 2018 - and Spotify has taken notice.

In Ek's blog today he stated that "This opportunity starts with the next phase of growth in audio - podcasting".

While clearly telling of how serious Spotify is about the role of podcasts in its future model, the acquisitions don't mark the beginning of Spotify's venture into podcasts. It seems like Spotify may have found an opportunity.

Gimlet, based in NY, has produced several popular podcasts, including "Homecoming", a drama about a rehabilitation program for former military members that was made into an Amazon show starring Julia Roberts. Recode first that Spotify and Gimlet were in talks last week.

"We believe it is a safe assumption that, over time, more than 20% of all Spotify listening will be non-music content", said Ek, who expects the move to "meaningfully accelerate [Spotify's] path to becoming the world's leading audio platform".

Podcasts produced by Gimlet Media cover everything from history to internet culture, with some outlets reporting that it was bought by Spotify for over $200 million. Anchor will bring its platform of tools for podcast creators and its established and rapidly growing creator base. We will offer better discovery, data, and monetization to creators. Therefore, if the service can get more people to listen to a higher number of podcasts, maybe it can even become the world's largest. The deals are expected to close in first quarter.

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