The podcast world was hit by an earthquake late last week when news broke that Spotify, the Swedish music-streaming giant responsible for those Discover Weekly playlists you love, was “In advanced talks” to acquire Gimlet Media, the buzzy podcast publisher behind beloved shows like Reply All, Startup, and Homecoming.
Those talks concluded in a deal that was announced Wednesday morning, which also included news that Spotify was buying Anchor, a technology platform that seeks to help more people create and monetize podcasts.
Together, these twin acquisitions are a bold statement for the podcast industry: Spotify wants to make podcasting a considerable pillar of its platform, and it’s not messing around to do so.
Podcasting, in theory, offers Spotify a new growth channel that’s still relatively untouched pasture.
In Gimlet, Spotify now has a podcast factory line that has a track record of hits, has attracted the eye of Hollywood with its own takes on podcast-to-adaptation pipeline, and has developed a brand that consistently draws press coverage.
There is also strong opposition to what Spotify represents, which is a future where podcasting is much less open and democratic than it originally was.
Born out of the same open publishing technology as blogs, podcasting was once a quirky backwater pond of digital curiosity – equally inhabitable by highly produced public-radio programming, personality-driven talk radio-style shows, and shaggy conversational podcasts started by anybody with a microphone, all working the same odds of finding an audience over a decentralized ecosystem.
This article was summarized automatically with AI / Article-Σ ™/ BuildR BOT™.