Spotify moves into podcasts to disrupt Apple's iron grip

Are podcasts the next lucrative platform? For Spotify, they could be - at least, as far as getting more people interested in its streaming service is concerned.

In exchange for promoting their podcasts in its app, a multitude of podcast hosts are ready to plug Spotify during their shows. This includes Reply All, Pod Save America and The Bill Simmons Podcast, which cover technology, politics and sport respectively.

Now you might think that podcasts aren't particularly popular any more, and to some extent you'd be correct. In the UK 90% of people listen to live radio each week compared to just 9% for podcasts, according to a study by the Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar). That's still 4.7 million people, mind - not a number to be sniffed at.

However, what makes it more attractive for Spotify is currently it's a realm dominated by Apple. The company's podcast app - aptly named 'Podcasts' - is the most-used platform for listening, according to Clammr. If Spotify can disrupt that, increasing its revenue from other media, the company could reduce the share of revenue that goes to record labels.

Currently, the streaming service has 140m users, with around 60m of those paying for its Premium tier.

According to Bloomburg, Spotify will also fund a new batch of original podcasts in the coming months and has created a tab for podcasts in its browse section.

With a lossless music tier, a driving mode, and exclusives for Premium users, the service seems to be trying to evolve quickly in the race to become the ubiquitous streaming service (fighting off Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, Deezer, Tidal and a plethora of others). Whether it succeeds remains to be seen.


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