Podcasting revenues hit $314 million in 2017, according to a third-party survey released last summer. It’s a large number for what’s been historically regarded as a niche and difficult to monetize medium, but still pales in comparison to the additional $400-$500 million Spotify says it’s willing to spend on the space this year alone.
Two major acquisitions announced early today already comprise a massive commitment to the category. The purchase of Gimlet was reported to have made up nearly half that figure, at $230 million. While no number has been revealed for the purchase of Anchor, Spotify no doubt paid a pretty penny for the buzzy creation/distribution platform, which has raised $14.4 million to date.
What, then, makes Spotify so confident that it will be able to get a return on such a massive investment? To hear the company talk about it, the service fell a bit ass backwards into the whole podcasting phenomenon. For one of the world’s largest audio platforms, Spotify was actually remarkably late to the game. Podcasting dates back at least until 2000, gaining popular momentum around 2004. A year later, Apple began supporting the technology with iTunes 4.9.
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