Live from Spotify — the future of podcasting

Friday, November 29, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

This is Nick, this is Jack, and we're your newsletter writers (and pod co-hosts)

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Hey Snackers,

We made this one extra digestible while you juice cleanse out all that tryptophan. Markets hit record highs before closing for Thanksgiving — now everyone's watching for Black Friday sales numbers to roll in.

Today's newsletter is about podcasts. We build our 15-minute Snacks Daily podcast every day, and we put the whole behind-the-scenes process up on YouTube for you to check out. And for insights about the future of the freakily hot podding industry, we just interviewed an entrepreneur who sold his podcast startup to Spotify. Takeaways below, or watch it here.

1. Spotify is on a talent binge for exclusive podcasts — so it can defeat Apple

Subscribe to everything... That's the decision that music-focused Spotify made back in February when CEO Daniel Ek said he wanted 20% of Spotify listening to be non-music. When you're not Lizzo-ing or mid-binge on Talking Heads, Spotify wants you podding. So the streaming pioneer came up with a 2-part plan:

  1. Blitz acquisitions: Spotify is spending $500M on podcast acquisitions, starting with Gimlet (a production company for podcasts like "Homecoming"), Anchor (a tech platform for creating pods), and Parcast (more pods like "Horoscope Today").
  2. Sign celebs: Spotify just revealed to Hollywood Reporter that it's signed podcast deals with Mark Wahlberg, Jordan Peele, and... the Obamas.

These podcasts aren't for the public good... they're for podcast profits. One lovely thing about podcasts is that Spotify gets the content for free.

  • Music: When your Spotify playlist streams Love on Top, Spotify pays Beyonce for that. The talent gets the royalties.
  • Podcasts: Max Cutler, Founder & MD of Parcast Studios at Spotify told us in our live pod interview that podcasts generate revenue through their ads, not by taking their part of Spotify's revenues like 'Yonce does.
  • The result: A podcast listen is more profitable for Spotify than a music stream.

A new streaming war is coming... You can only watch The Crown on Netflix, The Lion King on Disney+, and Hulu ads on Hulu (please kill those ads, Hulu). We asked Max if podcasts would go the same way. The answer is... sort of. Exclusive podcasts are central to Spotify's plan — the Obama pod will probably only exist on Spotify, even if other Spotify pods are still available on Apple (for now). Audio streaming is tempted by the video streaming playbook.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Resurrected: Toys 'R' Us teamed up with a software retailer and just reopened its 1st store with sensors that track how you're shopping (side note: we're kinda into their Nerf shop concept)
  • @blank: Twitter notified 6-month inactive accounts that if they don't sign in by December 11th, then their usernames will become available for someone else to snag
  • Poked: Facebook acquires a VR gaming company based in Prague with 1 hit game (Beat Saber) that’s sold 1M units
  • Tariff'd: Dollar Tree falls another 2% on word Chinese tariffs will add $19M to the cost of the discount chain's products next quarter
Snacks Daily Podcast

Your Snacks Daily co-hosts/writers took a day off from the mics — we were busy crafting this here newsletter when we weren't mashing yams.

If your New Year's resolution is to launch your own pod, we also whipped up our 5 ingredients for a great podcast along with our pod origin story. Subscribe to our YouTube page.

  • Big retail opens their doors for Black Friday, with the sales bonanza stretching through to Cyber Monday.

ID: 1024114

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