Spotify to Become the Netflix of Audio

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. Read More

Fiction Podcast Explores the #MeToo Movement

New York Times contributor Amanda Hess’s recent article, “The Best New Social Thriller Is a Podcast,” discusses how the fiction podcast has evolved in the last decade. Hess writes that in the past, “the experimental sandbox of the new form has produced sharp plots and intriguing aural soundscapes but few stories that seem to access… Read More

YouTube Counters IGTV

When Instagram launched IGTV, it quickly became seen as a YouTube competitor. While YouTube is far more powerful in comparison to Instagram, IGTV’s Facebook backing makes the platform a potentially formidable opponent. YouTube quickly responded by offering top content providers and influencers six figure checks (and higher) in exchange for their loyalty to YouTube. Many… Read More