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How much does Anchor add to Spotify's bandwidth bill?

· By · 1.2 minutes to read

Bandwidth isn’t cheap: for many podcast hosts, it’s the biggest bill they have. We were curious: how much does Anchor add to Spotify’s bandwidth bill?

Spotify’s bandwidth

There are 286m monthly active users for Spotify.

In the UK, 31% of people, 17.1m, use on-demand music services. They listen for a total of 186m hours a week. That’s 10.8 hours a week per user, or 46 hours per month (assuming 30 days).

Spotify can stream at 320kbps, but would often stream at rather less than that. Let’s assume it’s just 128kbps for the benefit of this.

So, if all 286m Spotify users all listen for 46 hours per month x 60 megs per hour (streaming at 128kbps) = that’s 789,360,000,000 megabytes of data, or 789,360,000 gigabytes per month. (Or 789,360 TB).

Anchor’s bandwidth

On May 20, Anchor hosted a rather astonishing 427,349 podcasts, according to Daniel J Lewis’s My Podcast Reviews service. Over at Libsyn, their median is 125 downloads per episode (source: The Feed); let’s assume it’s the same for Anchor, even though I suspect it isn’t anywhere near as high.

Let’s assume that all of Anchor’s podcasts are still active, and produce a new show every week (which is a massive over-assumption). That means 427,349 x 125 x 4 = 213m downloads per month. The median duration of a podcast is about 37 minutes so that makes it 129m hours. 60 megs an hour = 7,740,000,000 megs, or 7,740,000 gigs, or 7,740 TB.

How much extra does Anchor cost?

Even if we hugely over-estimate Anchor’s podcast downloads, they still only account for an extra 0.98% on Spotify’s bandwidth bill. We assume they can afford that.

James Cridland is the Editor of Podnews, a keynote speaker and consultant. He wrote his first podcast RSS feed in January 2005; and also launched the first live radio streaming app for mobile phones in the same year. He's worked in the audio industry since 1989.

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