Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

A Week in Social Media: Adam Libonatti-Roche

By Adam Libonatti-Roche

Each day starts the same; shower, coffee, social media. Every Monday and Friday however have never been the same for me since just over three years ago. It was around this time that Spotify debuted the Discover Weekly playlist. Since then it has become an ad format that’s available for brands but before then (and still now to be fair), Discover Weekly was the perfect example of personalisation done correctly.

With the recent purchase of Gimlet Media and Anchor, are we about to see Daniel Ek create the same revolution for podcasts as his $2 billion company did for mixtapes?

Podcasts have been around for a long time but Anchor and Gimlet both disrupted the status quo in different ways; Gimlet didn’t pioneer the mini-documentary episodic-style podcast but it did refine it to a professional-production level. Anchor was not the first podcast hosting company however it did put technology over substance by allowing anyone with a phone to create a podcast anywhere.

So, what’s next for Spotify with podcasts? Here’s what I’m thinking, or at least hoping for:

Discover Weekly for Podcasts

If Spotify manages to do for podcasts what it did for playlists, then the medium could be about to have a new lease of life. Instead of the need to search out for podcasts, they will find you based on your listening habits; habits that we know Spotify has pinned down.  Combine this with Spotify’s algorithm, and you may even get snippets of podcasts delivered to you that appeal to your key interests.

Podcasts for All

Adding your podcast to Spotify has never been straightforward; the hoops that had to be jumped through meant that a lot of small podcasts simply were not added.

The flip side of this was that the podcasts showcased by Spotify were all good; if Spotify is to allow more podcasts onto the service then an increased focus on quality control will be needed. I’m personally all up for podcast round table ideas (I’ve done a few, hosted a few, regretted a few) but for Spotify to become a premium podcast marketplace (because that’s one it will be) for advertisers the content needs to be of high quality and to not be about sensitive subjects.

Spotify to Host Your Podcasts

Anchor was a podcast hosting platform while also providing the functionality to record on the fly. This move would expand the platform to those who have wanted to start a podcast but never had the know how to do so. If it becomes part of the Spotify application itself, this could bring about a new era of citizen journalism.

For Advertisers

Of course this is fantastic news for advertisers; it will give them another ad format to use as Spotify continues to grow the advertising offering. It’s all a win-win at the moment for every party involved.

So where do Gimlet Media get involved? The NYC startup knows how to create enthralling, engaging, and exciting podcasts but also it knows how to grow a podcast business; a fact that Spotify has been struggling with ever since the podcast section was announced. Gimlet will bring its knowledge to the Spotify podcast future, whatever that may be.

All eyes will be on Spotify to see if it’s able to turn its podcast fortunes around with its recent acquisitions. I for one hope so.

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