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Can Spotify, Pandora Make Money Podcasting?

· Time to read: ~2 min

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Marketwatch has a length piece on how the two streaming pure-plays are hoping their podcasting strategy will help them tap into more revenue. Both companies say they are well-positioned to help consumers with one of the biggest challenges, discovering new podcasts. However, those in the podcasting industry would argue that discovery is not a problem with the Apple podcast app and other apps such as Pocket Casts.

Pandora is still in beta with its new podcasting platform. And it hasn’t even allowed all hosting companies to be part of what they are offering yet. Pandora CEO Roger Lynch tells Marketwatch when you compared podcast discover to music discover, it’s in the stone age. “We think we can expand our audience by bringing people in to listen to a certain podcast and keeping them on the platform with the music we have. Over time, profit margins would grow because podcasts cost less than music.” Pandora plans to extract some or all of the ads in a podcast and replace them with its own.

Spotify says it carries 150,000 podcasts. In the Marketwatch piece Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is quoted saying, “The vast majority of the minutes that are being spent on radio today haven’t yet moved online. So our opportunity really is gigantic. As part of that, obviously, we think nonmusic content has a very important place.” Spotify so far sells ads only for its original, exclusive podcasts.

Of course Apple is the big dog when it comes to podcast listening. It has over 600,000 podcasts available at no charge to users. Ad revenue from podcasts in the U.S. is expected to top $402 million in 2018, according to the IAB.

Read the Marketwatch piece HERE


Paul Cheall -

I’m not personally convinced discovery is more of a problem than in any other industry or product. It’s always tricky to get your message out. On another tack, I’m trying to get my head round how Apple makes any money out of podcasting.

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