Spotify really, really wants you to start listening to Podcasts

Spotify has introduced a new button on its platform, which will help users of the music-playback service to more readily access podcasts. Spotify is typically viewed as a music platform, but its founders are keen to cash in on the podcast boom as well.
Spotify button
Spotify is introducing a new feature that will signpost users to its podcasts. Photo: Spotify.

New button

The new button will attempt to subtly guide users that have never listened to podcasts on Spotify towards this aspect of the service. Indeed, the feature will only appear for those users who have never accessed podcasts previously.

Users in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia will be able to access the new button, and early estimate indicate that a broad base of users will gain access to the new feature.

Spotify has invested a vast amount of money in podcasting, as it tries to incentivize its many users to invest in the podcast space. Recent figures indicate that Spotify has spent between $400-500 million in 2019 alone on this format.

While Spotify has begun to demonstrate a commitment to podcasting, it can be consdiered a relatively new entrant to the field. While podcasting continues to grow and become more popular, many existing listeners have already established a favored playback device or platform.

Spotify podcasts
Spotify has become hugely successful as an audio playback service, and has established offices in several countries. Photo: Spotify.

Podcast emphasis

When creating its end of year wrap-ups, Spotify placed a particular emphasis on podcasts, and its new button its clearly primarily intended to raise awareness of the availability of podcasts on its platform. Spotify particularly appeals to younger users, and these tech-savvy individuals are generally regarded as being the target audience for podcasts.

Spotify has confirmed that it will promote both its own offerings and third-party content with the button, but one would expect the emphasis to be on native content, considering the size of investment made.

Although Spotify has been hugely successful as a music platform, the Swedish company views podcasting as a potential growth area for revenue. Several other big players have invested heavily in podcasts, with, for example, Amazon Alexa now able to play podcasts from Apple.

Spotify podcasts
Spotify hopes to benefit from the growing market for podcasts, and has invested circa $500 million in the format over the last 12 months. Photo: Spotify.

Alexa tie-in

While Amazon and Apple are certainly rivals, the two mega-corporations have also exhibited a willingness to work together in recent months. The launch of the Apple TV app on Amazon’s Fire TV platform is another example of the two brands collaborating, while Apple Music has also been made available on Echo devices and Fire TV.

Seemingly intent to muscle in on this relationship, Spotify has also announced its support for streaming podcasts on Alexa in the United States.

Spotify has become hugely successful since it was founded in 2006, having generated over $5 billion worth of revenue in the most recent financial year. The company’s platform has undoubtedly become the most successful music service in the world, providing DRM-protected music, videos and podcasts from a wide variety of record labels and media companies.

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