Tag Archives: Spotify

Spotify for Podcasters Released Gimlet Academy Podcast



Gimlet Academy is a new five-episode series from podcast pioneer Alex Blumberg, and Spotify for Podcasters, that teaches the craft of audio story-telling.

While many people have tried their hand at creating a podcast, most have found it’s not as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to making a hit. “People misunderstand how much time and work it takes to make something that will hold an audience’s attention,” says Alex Blumberg, co-founder of Spotify-owned Gimlet Media, an influential leader in podcasting.

That’s what led him to create a special podcast for Gimlet employees about the secrets to making a great show. Now, for the first time, those secrets are being made public in the new podcast Gimlet Academy, – hosted by Blumberg and released in partnership with Spotify for Podcasters – that explores how to make compelling audio stories.

Personally, I think its a great idea to offer information like this to brand new podcasters who want to make a story-driven podcast of their own. To my surprise, it does not appear that a Spotify subscription is required in order to access this content. As a test, I clicked on the first episode, on the Spotify website that talks about Gimlet Academy, and it played – even though I do not have a Spofify subscription. There are five episodes to listen to.

Making sure that content that explains how to make podcasts that tell a story easily accessible to those who are brand new to podcasting, or who want to switch to audio storytelling, is fantastic! This is a great way to encourage people to share their stories and learn new podcasting skills.


Audity Announced Partnership with Spotify



Audity, the audio company under the Asylum Entertainment Group (AEG) banner, announced a production partnership with Spotify, the world’s leading audio subscription streaming platform, as well as the appointment of veteran executive Frank Hajdu as Executive Vice President of Audity.

Under the deal, Audity will produce podcasts and audio-forward content across all scripted and unscripted genres for Spotify’s global audience. Launched last year, Audity is dedicated to cultivating communities where passionate storytellers can connect their voices, perspectives and stories directly to their followers and the broader audio universe.

In his new role, Hajdu will be responsible for building the company’s slate, business operations, and key partnerships, while also working with Asylum video producers to upstream select audio IP for television and film. An audio and digital veteran, Hajdu was previously Executive Vice President of Operations for Legendary Digital Networks where he oversaw The Nerdist Podcast Network (NPN), a roster of 40+ podcasts that collectively saw 10-12 million monthly streams.

Among the list of podcasts and talent NPN included The Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, and The Indoor Kids with Kumali Nanjiani and Emily Gordon. Additionally, he executed video distribution partnerships with Amazon, Facebook, Pluto TV and VRV. Prior, he served as Vice President of Business Development for MySpace Music and A&R at Warner Music Group.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Audity and AEG to bring their podcasts and projects to Spotify’s global audience around the world,” said Liz Gateley, Head of Creative Development, Spotify Studios. “We are already advancing some truly unique projects with Audity across a variety of genres and verticals.”

“Frank’s success in building The Nerdist Podcast Network positions him directly to help oversee Audity’s growth,” said Ryann Lauckner, President and Chief Strategy Office for Asylum Entertainment Group. “It’s the same targeted approach to nurturing communities and curated partnerships, all designed to provide a home for audio-forward storytellers to reach their unique audience.”


Spotify will Acquire Bill Simmons’ The Ringer



Spotify announced today that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Ringer, a leading creator of sports, entertainment and pop culture content. The Ringer was founded by Bill Simmons in 2016.Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, Spotify continues to deliver against its goal to become the world’s leading audio platform. The Ringer will bring to Spotify its industry leading sports and entertainment team, podcast catalog and website, further expanding Spotify’s content offering and audience reach. With its popular show lineup, The Ringer also offers new opportunities for monetization along with a continued focus on deepening audience engagement and innovating formats within Spotify’s business model. Not only has Simmons been a podcast pioneer in sports, he has also been a dominant force in the podcast pop culture arena.

“We look forward to putting the full power of Spotify behind The Ringer as they drive our global sports strategy,” said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer, Spotify. “As we set out to expand our sports and entertainment offerings, we wanted a best-in-class editorial team. Bill Simmons is one of the brightest minds in the game and he has successfully innovated as a writer and content creator across mediums and platforms. The Ringer’s proven track record of creating distinctive culture content as well as discovering and developing top tier talent will make them a formidable asset for Spotify.”

“Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres,” said Bill Simmons, The Ringer founder, and podcast host. “We spent the last few years building a world-class sports and pop culture multimedia digital company and believe Spotify can take us to another level. We couldn’t be more excited to unlock Spotify’s power of scale and discovery, introduce The Ringer to a new global audience and build the world’s flagship sports audio network. We’re joining one of the best media companies in the world. It’s an incredible day for us.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020 and subject to customary closing conditions.


Spotify Might Buy The Ringer



Vox reported that Spotify is in conversations to buy The Ringer. It seems to me that Vox would likely have some insight on the situation. Vox owns Recode, which has a commercial relationship with The Ringer.

According to Vox, The Wall Street Journal was the first to report about Spotify being in talks to buy The Ringer. The Wall Street Journal reported that Spotify and The Ringer teamed up in September to launch a podcast hosted by Bill Simmons, The Hottest Take. That podcast streams exclusively on Spotify.

The Wall Street Journal described The Ringer this way:

The Ringer, a sports and pop-culture outlet founded by former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons in 2016, has a podcasting network that attracts more than 100 million downloads a month. In addition to “The Bill Simmons Podcast”, the Ringer produces “The Watch,” a discussion show about TV and pop-culture; “Binge Mode”, which dives deep into pop-culture franchises, and “The Rewatchables,” a show that breaks down popular movies.

Vulture points out that these talks are early, and states that there is a good amount of details that probably need to be ironed out if a deal is to materialize. In other words, it is probably best to wait and see what happens, rather than speculate that this is already a done deal.


Spotify is Reportedly Developing Sports Podcasts



Bloomberg reported that Spotify Technology SA is developing several daily sports shows “according to people familiar with the plans”.

One program will be a recap of the day in sports and run about 10 minutes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the projects are still being developed. The Swedish company will probably start with a single show, and then ramp up. It’s considering a number of options, including audio programs tailored to fans of specific teams.

Personally, I am hesitant to rely on anonymous sources because I feel like things could change between when the news is reported and when something is eventually released to the public as a finished product. That said, I am aware that many news sites speak with sources who do not want to be identified.

It has been said that Spotify is interested in shifting its primary focus from music to podcasts. It is my understanding this is because Spotify has to pay royalties on the music it offers. Podcasts, on the other hand, have no such requirement. That makes acquiring podcasts relatively inexpensive for Spotify.

I imagine that Spotify could attract a lot of sports fans who would want to listen to whatever sports podcasts the platform comes up with. For one thing, it would be unique content from a well recognized company whose name most people recognize.

Casino News reported that Penn National is reportedly in talks to acquire Barstool Sports. The article states: While Barstool Sports enjoys big and devoted following due to its diverse, primarily sports-focused content, it has also found itself engulfed in big controversies and damning criticism on multiple occasions over the years.

Perhaps Spotify’s sports podcasts could be more attractive to people who aren’t fans of Barstool Sports. It will be interesting to see what kinds of sports podcasts Spotify produces. I wonder if they will have one that focuses on eSports.


Spotify Seeks a Podcast Producer – Owned Channels



Spotify is seeking a Podcast Producer – Owned Channels. The position is listed under Content / Content Marketing, and is located in New York.

This job demands a mastery of the audio and podcasting medium, a creative spirit, as well as a well-organized mind for juggling and delivering on multiple initiatives. You must be able to take a whisper of an idea and work with our creative partners to help grow it into a story. That means turning brainstorms and big picture ideas into larger narrative arcs, music choices, compelling stories and podcast episodes. This role is responsible for supporting the production and overall delivery of multiple episodes a month.

Responsibilities include:

  •  Create plans for how a new show or season will look, sound, be structured, and formulate how each episode will come to life.
  • Handle day-to-day production tasks, including (but not limited to): Set deadlines, clearly communicate those deadlines and keep the team on track towards its goals
  • Work with and manage both internal and external talent, guests and hosts
  • Pitch episode ideas, and handle all pre-interview, interview, reporting, recording, and writing of stories and scripts
  • Identify, hire and manage additional producers, both freelance and fulltime positions, as well as editors, production managers, and audio engineers as needed
  • Perpetually remain up-to-speed on the latest news in the entertainment, technology and podcasting space
  • And more!

    Requirements include:
  •  3+ years of experience making audio stories, ideally in radio, podcasting, and/or editorial space
  • Strong ability to structure a compelling and unique audio story, both editorially and technically (ProTools experience required
  • Experience working on a tight production schedule and translating ideas into action, with the ability to manage your own time, stakeholders and accountabilities in a collaborative, fast-paced environment
  • Ability and preference to travel as frequently as a story or episode requires
  • Creative and motivated self-starter with a hands-on attitude and tireless work ethic
  • A deep love for podcasts, entertainment and presentation skills
  • And more!

For more details, please visit the Spotify website where the job listing is posted. It is possible to apply for the job through that website.


Spotify Introduces Streaming Ad Insertion



Spotify introduced Spotify Podcast Ads with Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), which leverages streaming to deliver Spotify’s full digital suite of planning, reporting, and measurement capabilities. Spotify Podcast Ads (according to Spotify) offer the intimacy and quality of traditional podcast ads with the precision and transparency of modern-day digital marketing.

Joe Withrow, Sr. Product Manager of Podcast Monetization at Spotify says, “In the past five years, podcasts have become a staple of pop culture. In that time, I’ve spoken to a lot of skeptical brands, and the conversation consistently begins and ends with measurement. I’m excited to continue evolving the medium at Spotify. With our trusted, logged in audience, we can finally prove out the effectiveness of podcasts with the data and insights that digital advertisers expect.”

Previous to coming to Spotify, Joe Withrow played a key role in launching Megaphone in 2014. It popularized Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) with leading podcast publishers like the Wall Street Journal and Gimlet Media.

Nick Quah of Hot Pod notes: It’s being called “Streaming Ad Insertion” (SAI) – a conspicuous echo of “Dynamic Ad Insertion” – and at the outset, the ad technology will only be applied to Spotify’s original programming and shows that are exclusive to the platform.

Spotify says that one brand that has “jumped on board” is Puma. The company teamed up with the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast. Spotify says doing so drove Puma’s ad recall list up 18 points.


Podigee Offers Spotify Passthrough to their Customers



Podigee announced that as part of a new agreement with Spotify, Podigee is offering Spotify Passthrough to their customers. With this, Podigee avoids the usual caching mechanism of the streaming service.

As one of only a handful of podcast hosters worldwide – and as the only German hoster – we now cooperate with Spotify to deliver your audio files exclusively from our servers. The feature is called “Passthrough” and means nothing else than that Spotify will no longer make copies of your hosted audio files. In the future your episodes will be streamlined directly from our servers in the latest version. As a Podigee customer you will always have complete control over your content and can use Dynamic Ad Insertion to its full extent.

Previous to Passthrough, Spotify was making one-time copies of all episodes of the podcasts that are registered on Spotify. It then delivers those podcasts to listeners via Spotify’s distribution infrastructure. This means that the podcast the listener accesses through Spotify does not come from the Podigee’s servers.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that process. Podigee notes that it can result in less load on their own servers, lower latency, and higher availability.

Unfortunately, the disadvantage is that audio files delivered from the Spotify cache do not work in combination with dynamic ad insertion. The change to Spotify Passthrough means that Podigee podcasters will now have more freedom monetize their podcast through advertising.


Spotify Users in the U.S. Can Now Play Podcasts Through Alexa



Spotify announced that Spotify users in the United States will be able to ask Amazon’s Alexa to play their favorite podcasts, simply by using their voice. This is now available for Spotify Free and Premium users in the U.S.

First, make sure to set Spotify as your default podcast and music provider in your Alexa settings. Then, all you have to do is call out, “Alexa, play The Joe Budden Podcast on Spotify,” or whatever podcast you want, to start enjoying podcasts on your Spotify account. It’s a seamless way to listen to your favorite podcasts, no hands needed.

In addition to requesting a specific podcast, users will be able to ask to restart an episode and pick up from where they left off in their Spotify app with Alexa just by saying, “Alexa, play the (podcast name) podcast. They can also request the latest episode, navigate to the previous or next episode, and even navigate by podcast time frame.

Spotify has been integrated with Alexa for over two years. Previously, Spotify users have been able to ask Amazon Alexa to play music, like their Discover Weekly or Today’s Top Hits playlists, but not podcasts. This new feature makes it possible for users to ask Alexa to play podcasts.