Spotify’s next step in podcasts may be a $200m+ acquisition of a company called Gimlet Media. The Wall Street Journal and tech-news site Recode both reported that the streaming service was in talks to buy the company, which produces popular shows including Reply All, Crimetown and Homecoming, and also has a creative division that makes podcast ads for brands.
The New York-based company says its podcasts are downloaded more than 12m times a month. There’s form for this kind of acquisition: streaming-radio service iHeartRadio bought podcast producer Stuff Media for $55m last September.
Chatter is already focusing on what the deal (if and when it goes through) means for Spotify, and podcasting generally. “How does Gimlet’s staff — which now numbers well north of hundred in the headcount — integrate into Spotify? Who stays, who leaves? How will shows be situated within the company?” asked podcast-industry site Hot Pod. “Will Gimlet’s programming be exclusive on Spotify? (Probably, probably.)”
Meanwhile, former Spotify data staffer Daniel Levine broke down the strategy behind such an acquisition: “(1) Differentiate through unique content, (2) Earn better margin with non-music content, (3) Capture the ad dollars moving off radio, DOUBLE the size of the music market in the US…”