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Spotify Ramps Up Podcast Offerings

Will soon promote podcasts in its app and via ads on buses

NEW YORK — Spotify, the recently crowned most popular paid music streaming service, will soon promote podcasts in its app and via ads on buses. In return, the hosts of “Reply All,” “Pod Save America” and “The Bill Simmons Podcast” agreed to “talk up” Spotify on social media and during their shows, which cover topics ranging from internet subculture and politics to sports, according to The company wants to “assess awareness of its service among avid podcast listeners and could expand the campaign to more providers later this year.”

Podcasts are a fast-growing field currently dominated by Apple,and Spotify is testing whether or not to devote more resources to areas other than music. Strategically speaking, by increasing the revenue it gets from other media, Spotify could reduce the share of its sales that goes to record labels. (Royalties accounted for more than 75% of Spotify’s costs last year.)

Survey results from earlier this year show that about 15% of Americans over age 12 had listened to a podcast in the past week, and about almost a quarter listened to at least one every month. Ad revenue from podcasts is projected to grow 85% this year to $220 million, according to the same article.

Apple’s share of the podcasting audience has declined to about 55% from 70%, according to Nick Quah, author of Hot Pod, a weekly newsletter. Music services SoundCloud and Pandora now host podcasts, as do TuneIn and iHeartMedia. Spotify has already commissioned original podcasts about music.