Spotify Is Now Integrating Podcasts Alongside Music Recommendations — Or at Least Testing It Out In Portuguese

An eagle-eye observation from The Verge senior editor Dan Seifert
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An eagle-eye observation from The Verge senior editor Dan Seifert
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An eagle-eye observation from The Verge senior editor Dan Seifert

Get ready for the podcast wars.

Over the past few months, music streaming giant Spotify has spent upwards of $400 million to acquire podcast networks Parcast, Gimlet Media, and others.  In fact, Spotify spent $56 million alone on the acquisition of Parcast, a podcasting studio that focuses on storytelling.

Spotify’s Q1 2019 financials show revenue increasing by 33 percent, with the service crossing 100 million paying subscribers.  But the company is aiming to leverage podcasting to broaden its audio-focused audience while trimming monstrous losses.

But what exactly does Spotify intend to do with its podcast acquisitions?  And how will they be integrated into the platform going forward?

Well, the company may start promoting podcasts by inserting suggested episodes into your playlists. Just as Spotify already sends customized music suggestions, subscribers may soon get personalized podcast suggestions based on their preferences.

As a result, while listening to “Your Daily Drive,” you might receive a suggestion for a home renovation podcast or a current news podcast.

During what appears to be initial testing, Dan Seifert — senior editor of The Verge — received podcast recommendations in Portuguese (see above).  Yet, Seifert does not speak Portuguese.

It may have been a test gone awry.  Nonetheless, it does make sense for Spotify to start to promote its podcast lineup.

And, Spotify isn’t doing this in a bubble. Other streaming services are getting into the podcast world, including Luminary, Pandora, and even NBC News.  What remains to be seen is whether Spotify has the power to attract popular podcasts away from Apple.

But, that’s not all — in Spotify’s Q4 shareholder letter, the company noted it has earmarked $500 million for more acquisitions in 2019.

Moreover, the company is working on a multi-faceted advertising solution that offers measurement, targeting, and reporting abilities.  This would be similar to the advertising already employed on Spotify’s core business.