Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, has acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor. Gimlet is a podcasting startup founded my Alex Blumberg and Matthew Lieber that focuses on narrative content, while Anchor is a podcast platform that provides tools and monetization services for podcast creators.
Spotify’s new acquisitions signal a major push into the podcasting space. This is a strategic shift to becoming an audio platform rather than just a music platform. Acquiring Gimlet (for $223 million) and its twenty-five shows was the Swedish company’s first step in becoming “the Netflix of audio”.
The hope is that some of Gimlet’s podcasts becoming exclusive to Spotify will bring listeners to the streaming service and redefine the company as the leader in the the production of original content in podcasting. In time, we’ll see if the company’s $223 million investment pays off, and allows the service to be for audio what Netflix was for video.