Spotify 'Coming After' Apple With Strong Push Into Podcasts

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Spotify is experimenting with a new podcast initiative that's said to be aimed at gaining ground on the current leader in the field, Apple, as a way to convince Spotify users on iOS to stick around in the Spotify app, and not migrate over to Apple Podcasts. As of now, the podcast initiative is described as a "test," with Spotify launching a few original podcasts and running promotions for the shows to see how users respond (via Bloomberg).

Currently, podcasts on Spotify sit within the Browse tab of the iOS app and lack any highlighted featured section on the Home screen. Spotify's new initiative seeks a way to change that and begin showcasing podcasts for users in the same way that the service curates music. Earlier this year, Spotify commissioned original podcasts focused on music, premiering first on Spotify before expanding to other services.


Next, more original shows will continue the podcast test over the coming months.

Spotify will fund a new batch of original podcasts in the coming months, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing the private plans.

“Spotify has the potential to do a lot for podcasting,” Quah said. “They have a large user base, and all it takes is a few tweaks here and there to put podcasting in the foreground for the daily listeners.”

The initiative is also expanding into advertising fields, with Spotify agreeing to promote specific podcasts within the app and on mobile transportation, in return for these podcast hosts "talking up" Spotify on social media and throughout their shows. Right now, the podcasts in agreement with Spotify include "Reply All," "Pod Save America," and "The Bill Simmons Podcast."

At WWDC this year, Apple announced major features for both users and podcast creators coming to the overhauled Podcasts app in iOS 11. Although the recently rebranded "Apple Podcasts" holds the majority share of the podcast market (around 55 percent, according to weekly podcast newsletter author Nick Quah), Spotify's stance as the largest streaming service in the world presents it with "an opportunity to steal share from Apple."

Due to the surge in popularity of podcasts over recent years, Apple in 2016 even met with leading podcasters to discuss their grievances over iTunes and its podcasts section.

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
Add effing apple watch support then...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
Podcasts are stuck with either ads or pledge drives for funding.

It seems so obvious, that I always wonder why it hasn't happened yet: Advertising-free podcasts in Apple Music or Spotify. Pretty much everybody would profit from that.

(And since podcasts are the reason I'm not listening to music anymore, it would make me sign up, too.)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
"Coming after" Apple seems absurd and click baity. I honestly don't think Apple cares what podcast client is being used, or if people listen to podcasts at all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
Spotify you already had me at "hello".
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

Add effing apple watch support then...

This!


I mean what the f.... is taking so damn long - this is the last piece of the puzzle to let me run without my phone
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
It seems "wrong" to me to combine podcasts and music into one app. It's not that I'm against Spotify having a podcast player, but I would prefer it to be in a separate icon on my screen. If I go to Spotify, I want music and seeing the podcast stuff there is annoying. Thanks for the functionality, but you're giving me features I am not seeking out at that moment. It's like going to the youtube app and seeing ebooks to download - it's fine, but not what I'm looking for in that moment.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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