What interesting times we live in. Anchor, the home to many OSR and RPG podcasts due in large part to its ease of use, was just bought by Spotify.
Spotify CEO lays out his plan to become the Netflix of audio as the stock drops on earnings
Spotify made a major step in building up its original content on Wednesday, announcing plans to acquire privately held podcast producers Gimlet Media and Anchor. The move is just the next step in Spotify's ambitions to become the Netflix of audio by accelerating its spending on original content.
The music streaming service said it plans to spend up to $500 million this year on more podcasting acquisitions. CEO Daniel Ek said in a CNBC interview with Jim Cramer and David Faber that while "the magnitude of the numbers won't be the same" as Netflix's massive spending on original content, "I don't think it's unlikely that it is a Netflix type of story," in terms of increasing investment in the area.
"It's really about expanding our mission from just being about music to being about all of audio and being the world's leading audio platform," Ek said on Squawk On the Street.
Terms of the deals with Gimlet and Anchor were not disclosed, but late last week, Recode and Vulture podcast critic Nicholas Quah reported Gimlet would sell for north of $200 million. According to Quah, those terms would make it the largest podcast industry acquisition to date.
Anchor brings a different part of the equation to Spotify with its easy-to-use podcast creation technology. Anchor serves as a platform for podcast creators to make and distribute their shows. Anchor had 15 billion hours of content on its platform in Q4, Ek said in the blog post.
Spotify wants to build a podcast empire, starts by buying Gimlet and Anchor
Spotify picked up podcast companies Gimlet and Anchor as it looks for new listeners, the streaming service said Wednesday.
"Our podcast users spend almost twice the time on the platform, and spend even more time listening to music," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement. "We have also seen that by having unique programming, people who previously thought Spotify was not right for them will give it a try."
The announcement came as Spotify released its quarterly financial results,
Amid the cultural shift to streaming as the most common way people listen to music, Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as the leaders in the race to dominate subscription tunes. Though Spotify remains the biggest streaming service by both subscribers and those who listen for free, Apple Music has been growing quickly and its iTunes service remains the world's de facto place to find and download podcasts.