Spotify’s new podcast strategy explained
Spotify released its Q4/23 results. Total revenue grew 16% Y/Y to US$3.9bn; all the company’s figures met or exceeded expectations, with the company now having 602mn monthly users. The company lost $81mn in the quarter, a better figure than was flagged in December.
Spotify’s podcasting business was close to breaking-even in Q4, Daniel Ek said in an earnings call. He also outlined the change of strategy: “While some of these exclusivity deals worked, generally it wasn’t aligned with what the creator wanted. The creator wants to have a broader audience. With these new deals, we are in a position where we’re better aligned with the creator. We can both deliver the growth rate and we are equally incentivized to drive our audience growth. And of course then also drive revenue growth because we both share in that upside. Today, Spotify is in many cases the number one podcasting player already. Exclusivity makes sense when you’re the smaller playing, trying to gain scale: [but] when you’re the bigger player, the additional value of the exclusivity is far smaller than it is about being aligned. From a values point of view, this is better aligned with who we are at Spotify too.”
As Spotify appears to have newly discovered, the open RSS feed is, says entrepreneur Anil Dash in a blog post, “the kind of technology that’s supposed to be impossible: open, empowering tech that’s not owned by any one company, that can’t be controlled by any one company, and that allows people to have ownership over their work and their relationship with their audience.” - while Ernie Smith at Tedium suggests there’s something to be learnt from RSS’s podcast success by the rest of the media, too.
Apple has released a new developer beta of iOS 17.4, which will bring transcripts to podcast listeners. “I still haven’t seen a single transcript utilized from the podcasts:transcript tag, even for shows that have them.” mentions John Spurlock.
Another fund-raise by another audio AI company: AudioStack has raised £2.5mn (US $3.2mn). The company makes AI-voiced audio ads.
The majority of top-ranked podcasts have guests, says new research into podcasts from Pew Research. The organisation found more than 11,000 guest appearances in the top 434 podcasts - though true crime shows buck the trend with almost none of those shows having regular guests. Joe Rogan’s guests are likely to also appear elsewhere.
What works - and what doesn’t - in podcast marketing? The Podcast Marketing Academy wants to hear from you - and has more than $9,000 in prizes to entice you to take part.
Podcast hosting company Ausha has launched its Podcast Search Optimization control panel. The tool is aimed to ensure its podcasts reach the #1 slot in Apple Podcasts and Spotify search results.
Podcast growth agency Bumper has publicly launched an internal research tool called Podcast X-Ray. It shows details like publishing trends and hosting data. Here’s the Podnews Weekly Review, where you can see the switch from publishing on Thursday to Friday, as one example. We’ll link from our own podcast pages.
The Publisher Podcast Awards are now open for entries.
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Tips and tricks - with Podpage
Your podcast might be listed in Apple and Spotify - but there are many other podcast directories to be listed in. We’ve a big list.
Getting your workflow right is an important factor for success. The Podcast Host looks at a number of successful shows and how they organise themselves.
Podcast data for Feb 7
#1 in Apple Podcasts
Media Pressure (Voices for Justice Media)
#1 in Spotify
The Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan)
Over the last week, 205,852 podcasts published at least one new episode (up 2.2%). source