Spotify has 300 million customers. It desires extra of them to take heed to podcasts.

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Spotify desires to personal the podcasting house, and it’s made that clear with a collection of high-profile acquisitions and offers over the previous two years — together with the Ringer, Gimlet, Joe Rogan, and, most recently, Megaphone. Its subsequent aim: get extra of its 300 million customers to begin listening to podcasts.

Peter Kafka talked to Gimlet Media’s new head of content material, Lydia Polgreen, about how she plans to realize that on the Code [email protected] series.

“Our aim is to get folks into the behavior of listening to content material on Spotify that’s not music,” Polgreen stated. Whereas the expansion of podcasts has been sturdy, it’s nonetheless a tiny fraction of general listening for the service. She pointed to the most recent Edison research that podcasting hit an all-time excessive in 2020, now accounting for a 6 p.c share of audio consumption in the US.

To that finish, Gimlet is experimenting with combined media extensions of podcasts, like vodcasting (video podcasting), and it’s leveraging Spotify’s sturdy predictive algorithm to feed music listeners shortform spoken content material within the Day by day Drive, its suggestion service.

“Simply as Spotify helped folks uncover one of the best music for them — it didn’t simply know what you preferred, but it surely was capable of predict what you would possibly like,” Polgreen stated. “There’s numerous actually fascinating work happening on the firm that’s making an attempt to resolve this downside for spoken phrase audio too.”

The newest iteration of this appears lots like conventional FM radio. Final month, Gimlet Media launched The Get Up, a morning present that mixes every day information and speak with Spotify’s personalised music suggestions — “that particular sauce Spotify has with music,” stated Polgreen.

Deciding to reinvent the drive-time radio present throughout a pandemic, when a big share of would-be commuters are homebound, doesn’t look like nice timing. However based on Polgreen, half one million folks have tuned in to date. And after an preliminary dip, Gimlet listenership is again to the place it was pre-pandemic.

Polgreen additionally instructed Kafka a few of her different concepts for audio: a every day shortform cleaning soap opera-style fiction podcast, and a weekly, appointment-listening documentary present. “We’ve but to see a present that’s change into the 60 Minutes for audio,” she stated.

Watch Kafka’s full interview with Lydia Polgreen above to listen to extra about her imaginative and prescient for podcasting at Spotify, why she left an extended profession on the New York Instances to affix HuffPost after the 2016 election, and her ideas on Joe Rogan’s interview controversies.

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