Spotify Aims to be The Place For Audio Creators
New plan follows layoffs.
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Having had to lay off six percent of its workforce, it looks like Spotify is also shifting strategy. Instead of (just) being the home of huge podcasts like Joe Rogan and those on The Ringer podcast network, it now wants to become a hub for creators.
Bloomberg News reported:
Spotify now realizes that creating new original hit podcasts is almost impossible. It has started to think of itself more like YouTube. The company will still fund original shows, but it’s more interested in being the platform that every podcaster uses than the studio or exclusive rights holder. It now distributes almost 5 million podcasts and says it wants to reach 50 million creators.
In some ways, I’m surprised nobody has ever really done the “YouTube for audio” thing before now. You could argue that Clubhouse (remember that?!) gave it a go, but that was about live conversations instead of pre-produced content. It was, if anything, the audio equivalent to Twitch. Maybe there is something I’ve missed, or maybe the big players like Apple, Spotify and, yes, YouTube itself, just dominate podcasts to such an extent that it is hard for anyone else to break through.
That newsletter from Lucas Shaw also revealed an attempt by the audio giant to build an AdSense-like ad product - allowing publishers to more easily insert ads and monetise their shows.
Sounds Profitable explained Spotify’s adtech tools in its latest post. Essentially, the company has two products. The one that it seems to me is most interesting in this context is Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI). This is used in-app and while the podcast is still downloaded as a listener (and publisher) would expect, an advert is streamed in real time to a confirmed listener at set spots. However, this currently only happens in content owned by Spotify that is being played in its app. Most other ads are bought/sold through the Spotify Ad Network and distributed through a product and distributed through a combination of tools called Megaphone and Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). There is now a possibility for change:
With Spotify shifting focus away from creating or licensing content to make exclusive on their platform, they have the opportunity to build SAI out into a framework that not only immediately benefits them, but the entire podcast industry.
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