Spotify today announced that the company plans to spend up to $ 500 million on podcast-related acquisitions. The first purchases of this route are Gimlet Media, which Reply to all and other popular shows, and Anchor, which makes it easy for anyone to create their own podcasts. This is huge news for the growing podcast industry, as it is already expected to generate nearly $ 700 million in revenue by 2020.
Spotify has made a name for itself as a music app, but now CEO Daniel Ek has said the company not only wants to be a listening platform for any podcast, but also build its own versions. exclusive. Suffice it to say that Spotify wants to be a big player in the podcast space and is investing heavily to fill that role. Before it is a podcast giant, however, the company needs to work on its signature app. Here’s what Spotify needs to do before it becomes the best place to listen to and possibly create podcasts.
Clearer separation of podcasts and music
First and foremost, Spotify needs to revamp its app, especially on mobile platforms. The podcast tab in search is awkward on the home page and difficult to navigate. Accessing your podcasts isn’t easy either, as you need to go to your library and go from there. The scalable homepage sometimes displays podcasts at the top, but other times it doesn’t. As a general rule, Spotify needs to better separate the two entities and make podcasts easy to find.
Add graphics, reviews and ratings
Spotify has the best ratings for music, but has limited graphics for podcasts. The team compiles an annual list of the best products and also has a chart of âtrendsâ and âtop podcastsâ. It sorts podcasts into categories like âStoriesâ and âNews & Politics,â but these seem to be organized independently.
He might want to follow Apple’s lead – iTunes and Apple Podcasts led the way with curation and graphics. The company has the best episode and series level charts for each show category, as well as aggregate charts for the best podcasts. The company also allows people to rate shows and leave reviews. These are useful for rating shows and can also help with how the business creates chart rankings.
Personalized playlists are a must
Spotify is known for its work on Discover Weekly, which made personalized music discovery as easy as a weekly playlist. Hopefully the company will do the same for podcasts, which might fix user discovery issues. Most people hear about the shows through friends, but the industry, and perhaps listeners, would appreciate it another way.
The NPR One app is already playing in this arena. The app creates personalized playlists based on a user’s listening habits. Personally, I don’t like this app, but I imagine a lot of people would benefit from a similar Spotify feature, especially if they are bored with their current show list.
Creators should be able to monetize
Prior to its acquisition, Anchor announced a referral feature that allows any podcaster to apply for a referral. Hopefully Spotify will take advantage of this model, which allows creators to cash in on their work while Anchor takes a 30% cut. This kind of functionality will be important for freelance creators who want to make money with their work. Typically, creators need to either partner with a larger podcast network to get ads or work more on their own to get noticed by potential sponsors. This makes it transparent and puts all aspects of podcasting in one app.
There are no private flows
Adding the option of a private stream could benefit both listeners and creators. Feeds are convenient for anyone who subscribes to individual creators through services like Patreon. Companies sometimes also want to broadcast internal programs. Spotify does not offer the ability to access these streams at this time. Apple, on the other hand, allows users to add podcasts through an RSS link, which Patreon users can share individually. Again, this is a way to make podcasting lucrative for creators while making it a destination for individual listeners.
Consider adding the unique features of Anchor, like calling and authoring
Anchor introduced several unique features that aren’t found in traditional podcast apps and give listeners a place to interact with their favorite hosts. Creators can answer calls from their listeners, add people to conversations, and share a transcribed video of their show on social media.
None of these are groundbreaking on their own, but taken together they demonstrate just how ahead of the rest Anchor was by providing a place for creators to do their show and chat with their audiences. Spotify could become that place too.