Tag Archives: Spotify

Spotify And IAS Establish A Brand Safety Solution For Podcast Advertisers



Spotify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) announced a new partnership to establish third-party brand safety solution for podcast advertisers. The companies will embark on a rigorous analysis to help the industry understand the tools and resources necessary to effectively deliver brand safety in podcasting and digital audio writ large.

Ultimately, the firms intend to create the industry’s first third-party brand safety and sustainability reporting tool to bring more transparency and confidence to podcast advertising. Global media agency UM Worldwide will be part of the learning and development process as the first holding company to test this solution, ensuring that the voice and needs of advertisers are considered from the outset.

Podcast as spend has grown rapidly over the past few years alongside an influx of listening worldwide. In fact, podcast ad revenue surpassed $1 Billion in 2021 and is forecasted to almost triple to more than $4 Billion in 2024. As investment and innovation in podcast advertising has surged, so has the importance of ensuring suitability for advertisers. There are well-established brand safety guidelines and technology across the digital advertising ecosystem, most notably in video; however, these do not yet exist in audio. Creating a third-party solution for this now mainstream medium is critical to maintain advertiser confidence and continued media spend.

To solve this challenge, Spotify and IAS are embarking on a joint effort to better understand how to responsibly and effectively validate that advertiser messages are served in their intended context for podcasts. In the future, the results will be used to create a first-of-its-kind brand safety and suitability tool to aid in campaign planning, management, and reporting.

The solution will be powered by Spotify’s first-party data and verified by IAS’ independent analysis solutions based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

“Spotify pioneered the digital audio landscape as we know it today and we’re excited to continue our leadership here as we rise to the next challenge: brand safety,” said Julie Clark, Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

“Spotify pioneered the digital audio landscape as we know it today and we’re excited to continue our leadership here as we rise to the next challenge: brand safety,” said Julie Clark, Global Head of Advertising Revenue Innovation at Spotify. “We are pleased to be partnering with IAS – one of the most trusted leaders in media – to give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions we already have in the market.”

“Partnering with Spotify and UM to develop a podcast brand safety and sustainability solution will be a transformational step for advertisers targeting the audio space,” said Yannis Dosios, Global Chief Commercial Officer at IAS. “With podcasts expected to reach more than 500 million listeners worldwide by 2024, this solution will offer advertisers more control and confidence that their messages will deeply resonate with their intended audiences.”

“Podcasts have hit the mainstream in a big way and our clients are ready to increase their investment in the space given the undeniable opportunity to connect with audiences; however, without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in,” said Joshua Lowcock, Global Chief Media Officer at UM Worldwide. “We’re pleased to see Spotify and IAS step up to create a brand safety solution and are ready to work with them during the building and testing phase to ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”


CuriousCast Podcast Network Joins Spotify Podcast Platform Megaphone



Corus Entertainment’s award-winning podcast network Curiouscast announced that it will be joining Megaphone, Spotify’s enterprise podcasting platform, to host its full lineup of podcasts. In addition to hosting all Curiouscast podcasts on the Megaphone platform, Spotify will have access to select Curiouscast inventory to monetize via the Spotify Audience Network.

The Spotify Audience Network is an audio-first advertising marketplace that makes it possible for advertisers of all sizes to connect with listeners across a broad range of content on and off Spotify. Megaphone podcast publishers who have opted in to the Spotify Audience Network have seen meaningful improvement in their ability to monetize.

“Working with Spotify and Megaphone is the next step in our evolution as a network. We are excited to be working together to grow our audiences and provide for new opportunities for our advertisers both in Canada and around the world,” said Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, Director of Streaming and Podcasting, Curious/Corus Entertainment.

“Audiences worldwide are tuned into digital audio at record rates and the numbers are rising,” said Emma Vaugh, Head of Advertising Business Development & Partnerships at Spotify. “Digital audio consumption surpassed radio for the first time in Canada last year according to a recent eMarketer study. Given this growth, we’re thrilled that leading publishers like Curiouscast are leveraging best-in-class tools across both Megaphone and the Spotify Audience Network to better monetize and measure their content.”

The award-winning Curiouscast network launched in 2018 and is home to internationally recognized brands with diverse audio storytelling, including: Edward R. Murrow International Podcast Award and RTDNA winners Crime Beat (now adapted for TV on Global News and Hulu) and 13 Hours Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre; the #1 Canadian-produced music podcast, The Ongoing History of New Music; and 2020 Canadian Podcast Award winners Dark Poutine, History of the 90’s, as well as Nighttime, The Peak Daily, Escaping Denver, Marsfall, and RTNA winner Global News What Happened To.


Spotify Allows Creators in Select Markets to Publish Video Podcasts



Spotify began activating Video Podcasts for Creators on a limited basis last Fall. Now, Spotify is allowing podcasters the option to accompany their audio with visual components.

As this audience grows, Spotify is also opening up the Video Podcast capability to more creators. This was announced on April 21, 2022.

Starting today, we’re expanding Video Podcasts on Spotify to all creators in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, and the U.K. Creators will have the ability to upload their video content to Spotify through Anchor as easily as they already publish audio.

In addition, Spotify is adding new features to help set up creators for success.

New features include:

Access for everyone: Starting now, creators in these five markets can find Video Podcast uploading capabilities on Anchor’s web platform. We plan to roll this out to additional markets in the future.

Podcast Subscriptions: Spotify Podcast Subscriptions will be available for video podcasts, empowering creators to own their monetization models by creating exclusive content, gating video, and more. Stay tuned – we’re working on more monetization features to come soon.

Integration with Riverside: Now, when you embed a Video Podcast episode from Spotify, the video will play directly in the embed player wherever you placed it. It’s a great tool – whether you’re excited to share great content with friends or grow your audience.

Video Bulk-Replace: Bulk-replace allows Anchor creators to easily replace their existing audio episodes with video versions from an easy-to-use interface. Get ready for more time creating content and less time editing it.

Video Analytics: Video-specific analytics will give creators deep insights into their videos’ performance on Spotify, enabling them to better understand their audiences and publish content suited to them.

Interactive capabilities: Our interactive podcast features, like Polls and Q&A, will be available for Video Podcasts so creators can connect with and get feedback directly from their listeners.


Obamas To Leave Spotify To Seek Podcast Deal Elsewhere



Former President Barack Obama, and Former First Lady Michelle Obama, will not renew their exclusive partnership with Spotify, according to three people familiar with the matter. Bloomberg appears to be the first to report this news.

The former first family’s production company, Higher Ground, won’t be signing a new deal with the audio platform according to people familiar with the negotiations. The company is instead talking to other distributors about a deal worth tens of millions of dollars, among the most-lucrative in the podcasting business.

According to Bloomberg, Higher Ground is in the middle of negotiations with several potential partners, including Amazon.com Inc’s Audible and iHeartMedia Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are private. Higher Ground is seeking a deal that will allow it to produce several shows and release them on multiple platforms at the same time. Bloomberg reported that this could explain iHeart’s interest given that it hasn’t historically relied on an exclusive strategy for its podcasts.

Spotify and Higher Ground partnered in June of 2019. Under the Higher Grounds partnership, both Obamas would develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts, connecting them to listeners around the world on wide-ranging topics. The multi-year agreement was with Higher Ground Audio, an expansion of the Higher Ground production company that would oversee the move into podcasts.

In 2020, Higher Ground and Spotify announced The Michelle Obama Podcast. The show was hosted by Michelle Obama, who brought in special guests to discuss topics like sibling relationships and raising children to girlfriends, women’s health, mentorship, and marriage. Bloomberg reported that The Michelle Obama Podcast was one of Spotify’s five most popular podcasts in 2020.

CNN reported in 2021 that Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have teamed up to host a podcast about masculinity, race, fatherhood, and their professional and personal journeys. The podcast was called Renegades: Born in the USA and was part of a multi-year partnership between Spotify and Higher Ground.

The Verge reported that it is unclear if the controversy with the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, and/or the musicians who removed their work from Spotify, contributed to the Obamas’ decision to look for hosting elsewhere.

Considering everything I’ve read about this news, it sounds like Higher Ground is interested in creating and producing podcasts that will not be exclusive to Spotify. It also appears that Spotify is either hesitant about that deal, or is not interested in podcasts that will not be exclusive to their platform.


Parcast Union Reaches Tentative Deal on First Contract with Spotify



On April 6, 2021, Parcast tweeted: “After months of regular meetings, late-night emails, private calls, & full unit efforts, we’re proud to announce we have a deal. We couldn’t have done it without the consistent support of our colleagues. It’s been a worthwhile journey, and we thank all who helped us fight. #1u”

A follow up tweet said: “Our deal is subject to ratification. Details coming soon!”

The Hollywood Reporter provided more details:

Seemingly averting a threatened strike, a union at Parcast has reached a tentative agreement with Spotify and Parcast management on a first contract covering the podcast studio’s content writers, fact-checkers, producers, researchers and other workers.

The Parcast Union – which is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East – announced the deal on Wednesday night, their final day of bargaining with the music streaming giant and the Spotify-owned podcast studios and are not yet disclosing terms of the tentative agreement.

The deal will now be scrutinized by the Parcast bargaining unit and will subsequently be voted on by the WGA East Council and the bargaining unit. The deal terms are expected to be similar to those in contracts for WGA East-affiliated podcast unions The Ringer and Gimlet, companies that are also owned by Spotify.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The tentative deal arrives about a year and a half after Parcast workers first announced they were unionizing in September 2020, with the hopes of making changes to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, workers’ workloads, role transparency and compensation and intellectual property policies. About a month later, Parcast voluntarily recognized the union and, according to the union, bargaining on a contract subsequently took place over 15 months.

The Parcast union is not the only one represented by WGA East. It also bargains for workers at Spotify-owned The Ringer and Gimlet Media. Those two unions ratified their first contracts in 2021. In February, a WGA East-affiliated union at iHeartPodcast Network won voluntary recognition from management.


Spotify’s Podcast Platform Megaphone Welcomes Two Leading French Publishers



Spotify’s Megaphone, one of the world’s leading podcast publishing and advertising platforms for enterprise publishers, continues its expansion in France by welcoming Bababam and Choses à Savoir, two of the leading French publishers. This comes as the podcast market in France is booming:

According to podcast analytics firm Chartable, podcast downloads in France grew 76% between 2020 and 2021.

This growth has continued in 2022 with unique podcast downloads increasing 46% YoY in February 2022 vs February 2021.

What’s more, per a May 2021, IAB Europe report, ad spend on podcasts across Europe is expected to grow by more than 50% to over €200 million 2023.

It is in this context that publishers Bababam and Choses à Savoir have chosen Spotify’s Megaphone to provide a single service for all their podcasting needs, from creation to monetization to analysis. As part of joining Megaphone, these two publishers will be the early testers of the Spotify Audience Network in France. This means that Spotify will be unlocking more advertiser demand for Bababam and Choses à Savoir, driving increased monetization for their businesses while helping advertisers target more French podcast listeners. The Spotify Audience Network will be available to all French advertisers later this year.

“We are delighted that two of France’s leading publishers, Babamam and Choses à Savoir, have chosen Megaphone by Spotify as their podcast platform of choice. Megaphone formally launched in France just a few months ago and we’re pleased with the momentum the platform has seen in this important market. We’re ready to serve more enterprise podcast publishers across Europe with our robust, differentiated offering and help them to grow their business,” said Emma Vaughn, Global Head of Advertising Business Development & Partnership at Spotify.

“Bababam was created with the conviction that it was necessary to democratize the podcast. We do everything possible to offer ambitious and popular productions to the general public. This partnership with Spotify’s Megaphone was therefore logical given its weight in the market and its position as a rallying point for the ecosystem. Bababam Originals recently produced Noises, voted best native podcast of 2020 at the Salon de la radio, and Silencio, a critically acclaimed series starring Zita Hanrot and Alban Lenoir, among others,” explains Pierre Orlac’h, founder of Bababam.

“At Choses à Savoir, the most listened to native podcast network in France, we are happy to join Megaphone, whose service meets all our needs in terms of creation, analysis and monetization. This collaboration will allow us to accompany our development, the rapid growth of our audience on the 20 Choses à Savoir podcasts, and to ensure our mission: sharing knowledge with the greatest number of people.” Louis-Guillaume Kan-Lancas, founder of Choses à Savoir.


Spotify Acquires Podsights and Chartable



Spotify announced that they have acquired two podcast technology companies: Podsights and Chartable.

Podsights is a leading podcast advertisement measurement service that help advertisers better measure and scale their podcast advertising. Chartable is a podcast analytics platform that enables publishers to know and grow their podcast audiences through promotional attributions and insight tools.

Here’s what these acquisitions will mean for advertisers and publishers:

Upleveling Measurement for Podcast Advertising

In short, with the acquisition of Podsights, Spotify will be able to help advertisers understand how podcast ads drive actions that matter to their businesses. Over time, Spotify plans to extend these measurement capabilities beyond podcasts to the full scope of the Spotify platform, including audio ads within music, video ads, and display ads.

Helping Publishers Grow Their Businesses with Robust Insights & Promotional Tools

Over the past year, we’ve been strengthening Megaphone’s already robust offering – most recently with the acquisition of Whooshkaa and its broadcast-to-podcast technology – to ensure its the best place for podcast publishers to create, monetize, and measure their podcast business.

And now with the acquisition of Chartable, we will be further enhancing Megaphone’s suite of tools with the integration of Chartable’s audience insights and cutting-edge promotional tools, SmartLinks and SmartPromos. These tools will make it easier for publishers to turn audience insights into action and expand their listenership while ultimately growing their businesses.

The Future of Digital Audio

Spotify believes the opportunity for digital audio and podcast remains significant. With these acquisitions, Spotify says they are taking a big step in unleveling digital audio measurement and insights to help the entire industry scale to new heights.

The Verge reported: This deal is particularly critical for the company as it tries to make its ad platform the best and most powerful in audio. If it wants everyone to purchase ads through its marketplace, then it needs technology to better figure out who’s listening to those ads and what they’re doing after hearing them.

At the same time, marketing analytics are critical for show creators who want to ensure they’re spending their budgets well. This deal helps both creators and advertisers, two groups Spotify needs and wants to court.


Whooshkaa is Joining the Spotify Family



Whooshkaa announced that the company has joined the Spotify family. Founder and CEO Rob Loewenthal posted information about it in a blog post on Whooshkaa’s website.

Australian podcasters, we’ve come a long way together. And from today, it all just gets bigger, better, and more exciting.

Global digital audio leader Spotify has talent-spotted Whooshkaa’s world-class technology and made our business and team its first Australian acquisition. With more than 381 million monthly listeners and recently surpassing €1 billion in ad revenue this year, Spotify throws open the window of opportunity for Whooshkaa’s innovative team.

Since 2016, we’re worked hard alongside countless Aussie podcasters to build and re-imaging the future of digital audio. No false modesty here – I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built with Whooshkaa. In five years we’ve grown, learned, pivoted, and innovated. Our current team is nothing short of astounding.

We’ve worked long days, nights, and weekends, with talented individuals, businesses, schools, and media organizations to drive podcasting in Australia, with many high points along the way. Hedley Thomas’s The Teacher’s Pet for example, launched on Whooshkaa in 2018, has been downloaded more than 60 million times worldwide.

We’ve led the way on text-to-speech, speech-to-text, connected home integration, ad technology with dynamic insertion for all, enterprise grade private podcasting tools and more. Sport, comedy, business, crime, conversation, education, music, current affairs – Whooshkaa has welcomed and supported all.

Proud as we are of our laurels, we’re not resting on them. Our business is thriving. And by adding the power and vision of Spotify, we can propel the industry-leading tech and service you know and love to even greater heights.

Thank you to all who played a part in our last five years. The best is yet to come.


Spotify to Acquire Leading Audiobook Platform Findaway



In 2019, Spotify announced its ambition to become the world’s leading audio platform with an expansion into podcasting through the acquisitions of Anchor and Gimlet. Since then, Spotify has not only become a leading platform for podcast creators and listeners, but also expanded on the very format of podcasting itself: taking a fixed format and making it a new audio experience. And we are taking another step in furthering this mission to build the future of audio by announcing that Spotify has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Findaway, a global leader in digital audiobook distribution.

“It’s Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio both for listeners and creators. The acquisition of Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s presence in the audiobook space and will help us more quickly meet that ambition,” said Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s Chief Research & Development Officer. “We’re excited to combine Findaway’s team, best-in-class technology platform, and robust audiobook catalog with Spotify’s expertise to revolutionize the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts.”

Findaway works across the entire audiobook ecosystem with a platform and offerings that serve authors, publishers, and consumers of this rapidly growing industry, which is expected to grow from $3.3 billion to $15 billion by 2027. In addition to offering the largest catalog of distributed titles, Findaway has actively worked to democratize audiobooks through leading technology tools available for independent authors to create and bring their stories to life. We plan to build on Findaway’s significant innovation in the space, and we’re going to supercharge its growth, bringing everything Spotify knows around personalization and discovery while also innovating on format, delivery, creator tools, and more.

Together, Spotify and Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the audiobook space and continue to innovate the industry, working to remove current limitations and unlock better economic tools for creators. Findaway’s technology infrastructure will enable Spotify to quickly scale its audiobook catalog and innovate on the experience for consumers, simultaneously providing new avenues for publishers and authors to reach audiences around the globe.