Spotify’s podcast reorg cost $57mn
Spotify released its financials for Q2/23. Monthly Active Users grew 27% to 551mn. Paid subscribers also grew 17% to 220mn.Spotify
- The company lost US$272mn in the quarter. Part of that loss was $45mn in “content asset write offs and contract termination and related costs in connection with rationalizing our podcast content portfolio”, and a further $12mn in “severance charges incurred primarily in connection with streamlining our podcast operations”.
- Podcast ad revenue was up 30+% year-on-year, “with sold impressions across Original and Licensed podcasts and the Spotify Audience Network hitting an all-time-high, partially offset by softer pricing.” Podcasts showed improved profitability.Spotify
In further reading about Spotify’s results:
- Variety claims that Spotify Podcasts’s High Growth Era Is Probably Over, using data from Edison Research that appears to show a slight dip in spoken word’s share on the platform. Podcasts account for 1 out of 5 hours consumed on Spotify.Spotify Edison Research
- Karen Kwok from Reuters suggests that Spotify is locked in contract negotiations with major labels; and it’s beneficial for them not to sound too positive about the future.Spotify
Lining up against Spotify and Audible, an audiobooks app which promises to share its profits with independent bookshops has been launched internationally. LibroSpotify Audible
.fm also offers monthly memberships.
Kai Chuk, YouTube’s Head of Podcasting, will be at Podcast Movement next month. He’ll be interviewed by Ausha’s CMO, Jennifer Han (Tues, 2.30pm).Podcast Movement
What’s the job title that should be at every company? According to a white paper from Oxford Road and a number of marketers, the Chief Audio Officer is the missing ingredient to unlock the power of audio advertising.Oxford Road
Former Head of Audio for Harry and Meghan, Rebecca Sananès writes for Vanity Fair: After the Podcast Gold Rush, Is Audio Too Corporate to Be Cool? “The word podcast itself leaves some of us cringing”, she claims.
Journalists only respond to less than 3% of all pitches they receive, says a pitch for a story sent to us by Propel. However, podcasters open 73% of the pitches they receive, says the data - and journalists like pitches about podcasts, with over five times the response rate to the average pitch.Barometer
Sounder is to announce an agreement today with A Million Ads, otherwise known as AMA. “The partnership will combine Sounder’s brand suitability and contextual targeting technology with AMA’s dynamic creative ad platform to deliver contextually-relevant and brand-safe podcast advertising.”Sounder
Indian podcast hosting company Hubhopper is working with Superfan, an augmented reality and metaverse company. “Creators and brands can seamlessly enhance their content with AR elements, such as virtual objects, interactive games, and dynamic visual effects.”
Daniel Ek on Spotify’s podcast strategy
- Ek spoke in the company’s earnings call.
The biggest shift in our strategy is really around the more streamlined operations and that we’re being more careful about, now that we have a lot more data around, doubling down and renewing the things that did work and stop doing the things that didn’t work. That’s the primary consideration that we’re going through.
I think the most interesting thing from my vantage point is how the number of podcasters is growing. Unlike before where perhaps we saw people in the very early innings that were native to podcasting and didn’t do any other form of media, then when we kind of made the announcement, we brought new talent to the platform. Now we’re seeing a lot of Internet native creators who are creating new podcasts for it. And I think our video podcasting is a great example of that where we’re seeing podcasters now realizing that they have one video feed on Instagram and YouTube and all these other platforms and now uploading more long-form content on Spotify with great success.Spotify YouTube
So we are very much tailoring on the content type to these new creators and broadening the base of podcasters. Feel really good about that. And then on the consumer side, that tend to lead to much younger consumers getting in and starting to realize that podcasting is not just something for older consumers, but it’s something that has a lot of appeal. It could be funny. It could be not just facts, but you’re seeing, Call Her Daddy, a great example of younger women taking up to podcasting and loving the format. And we’re seeing, obviously, something like Call Her Daddy also then cross referenced when Alex Cooper brings musical artists onto the show, you’re seeing great results in music streams as well.
… We have a lot more data across the millions of podcasts we already have about what that does to new user acquisition, to retention, to conversion, to subscribers, et cetera.
And not surprisingly, what we’re finding is that some of these shows work really well with our audience. Some of them don’t work well. Some of them work well, but during a different cost structure as we probably overpaid relative to what we should have done. And so we’re coming at this with the process of rightsizing some deals, doubling down on some of the things that worked really nicely and then stepping out of some deals and relationships that hasn’t worked out.
But I think this is very normal given that we kind of went in, in order to get -- to really win the space and to gather as much data as we could in a short period of time. And so the data we have now is very rich and allows us to make much better decisions than we obviously could four years ago
Moves and hires
- Quill and CoHost have announced some promotions - Alison Osborne has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing, after leading the marketing team since she was brought on in 2020. Stephanie Andrews has been appointed Vice President of Product and Product Operations, working on CoHost since its inception in 2022. And Brittany Nguyen now serves as the Director of Design, overseeing both the agency’s production and product design departments.Quill CoHost
Tips and tricks
Podcast News - with the Radioinfo Asia Podcast Awards
Podcast data for Jul 26
- #1 in Apple Podcasts: US: The Retrievals (Serial Productions & The New York Times) GB: The Girlfriends (iHeartPodcasts & Novel)
- #1 in Spotify: US: The Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan) GB: The Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan)
- Over the last week, 194,900 podcasts published at least one new episode. See more podcast data at the Podcast Business Journal.
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