Music streaming service Spotify is buying podcast companies Gimlet and Anchor as it looks to take on Apple’s popular iTunes’ podcasting platform.
Gimlet Media has a podcast studio with dedicated IP development, production and advertising capabilities. Anchor has a platform of tools for podcast creators as well as an established and rapidly growing creator base.
Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said in a blog post Wednesday that Spotify has become the second-biggest podcasting platform in a little less than two years.
“The format is really evolving and while podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential for the space and for Spotify in particular,” he wrote.
In the announcement, he added:
“These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand. We are proud to welcome Gimlet and Anchor to the Spotify team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.”
Nick Quah of Hot Pod, a newsletter that covers the podcast industry, said in an email to subscribers that the deals help Spotify branch out from music and differentiate its product. Quah also anticipates Spotify may try to monetize podcasts in the same way that it’s struck deal with musical acts to upload their music directly and automatically receive royalty payouts.
Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The deals are targeted to be completed in the first quarter.
“Spotify is poised to become the largest audio platform in the world and we are excited for Gimlet’s award-winning podcasts to connect with new audiences around the world,” said Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, co-founders of Gimlet Media. “The medium of audio is uniquely great at creating human connection and understanding. We are thrilled that Gimlet is joining Spotify to do that at a global scale, on the platform and beyond.”
“We are incredibly excited to introduce Anchor’s industry-best podcasting tools to Spotify’s massive user base as we continue our journey, now with even greater resources,” added Michael Mignano, CEO of Anchor. “We look forward to continuing to empower creators all over the world to build an audience, generate revenue, and most importantly, have their voices heard.”
Shares of Spotify Technology SA tumbled more than 5 percent before the market open on Wednesday.