Spotify acquires Gimlet Media and Anchor to lead the podcasting market

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With its podcast acquisitions, Spotify has the potential to provide exclusive non-music content in a way that is similar to Netflix providing exclusive shows on its platform, analysts said.

Webster said he thought Spotify's acquisition into podcasting also could push more labels to become more open to letting podcasts use licensed music.

Spotify is doubling down on podcasts, with the acquisition of podcasting companies: Gimlet and Anchor.

According to Recode, Spotify is around $230 million for Gimlet.

Spotify, the world's most popular paid music streaming service, reported an unexpected fourth-quarter operating profit on Wednesday but its sales growth was well below expectations and it said it sees a loss of 200-360 million euros in 2019.

"The format is really evolving and while podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential for the space and for Spotify in particular, " he wrote.

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He added that over time, he believes 20% of all Spotify listening will go to non-music audio, like podcasts.

Podcasts have enjoyed a popularity boost in recent years, with weekly listening numbers reaching a high of 48 million in the U.S. in 2018 - and Spotify has taken notice. Recode first that Spotify and Gimlet were in talks last week.

Spotify is splashing out millions of dollars as it tries to move beyond music into the growing podcast market.

Spotify already claims to be the world's second largest podcasting platform.

The acquisitions are about "expanding our mission from just being about music to being about all of audio and being the world's leading audio platform", CEO Daniel Ek said in an interview on CNBC on Wednesday.

This opportunity starts with the next phase of growth in audio-podcasting.

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In a separate blog post, Ek suggested that "over time, 20% of all Spotify listening will be non-music content", adding that Spotify's podcast users "spend nearly twice the time on the platform" as those who listen exclusively to music.

The former is a podcast network and digital media company with shows like Reply All, Crimetown and StartUp on its roster, while Anchor is a podcast production app for users to produce and distribute their own shows.

In its own acquisition announcement, the podcast production and hosting platform, Anchor, stated that its platform is now powering of all new podcasts.

Spotify doesn't seem like it's finished spending money on acquisitions yet, either. Therefore, if the service can get more people to listen to a higher number of podcasts, maybe it can even become the world's largest.

The deals are expected to close in the first quarter.

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