Spotify Has New Plan to Reinvent Podcasts

Spotify screenshots on phones

Spotify is the world's largest paid music service, even ahead of Google and Apple. Now that they're dominating the music streaming scene, they'll be moving into news and political coverage to lure listeners away from radio and podcasts from their competition.

Spotify currently has 70 million users with revenue streams increasing about $1 billion each year since 2014, making it the most extensive paid music service that's ever existed. Now that they've become successful with the music industry, they'll be expanding their services into radio and podcasts.

News programming alone can help Spotify capture a chunk of the $18 billion spent on radio advertising every year and boost profitability as they prepare to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. With the high cost of music rights, they've had a difficult time making a profit, even with their impressive climbs in yearly revenue.

Courtney Holt, the company's head of studios and video, stated in an interview:

"I know people are coming to Spotify to listen first, but we're starting to build something new. I want to create content that can be seen and listened to."

Spotify won't be doing it alone. Eight companies not currently affiliated with the music giant will be contributing news and podcast content, including Buzzfeed and Refinery29. The show will be called Spotlight, and at first, will feature a four- to seven-minute daily newscast feature reporting from Buzzfeed journalists around the world including segments on the news, pop culture, sports, politics, and more.

Some of the programs that are already available on the service will be available in Spotlight initially, and some programs will have ads while others don't. Per Holt, listeners will be able to quickly skip between different stories and podcasts with visuals included, something that's not currently available on any of the other services.

BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, had this to say:

"Spotify has this real opportunity to compete with terrestrial radio. These are news updates for people of the generation we serve, 18- to 35-year-olds."

While a small amount of content will be available at first, Spotify plans to expand the service throughout many months, first starting with audio content and expanding later on to video.

What do you think of Spotify's upcoming news and podcast feature? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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