Spotify is announcing its latest quarterly financial results later this morning, and we can expect to hear some new figures for its push into podcasts. Ahead of that, the Financial Times has published a report suggesting that podcasts are a particularly sensitive point in Spotify’s latest licensing negotiations with major labels.
The piece focuses on Spotify’s existing licensing terms, which see it paying music rightsholders ‘a minimum proportion of its revenues from subscriptions, regardless of how much music users consume versus podcasts or other content’. It adds that labels ‘want to defend their minimum claim on Spotify’s revenues, regardless of how much listening on the app drifts away from their music’.
This should come as no surprise: back in June last year, at Midem, WMG’s Tracy Gardner (who’s since joined Bytedance as its head of label licensing) talked openly on a panel about “finding ways to protect against dilution of our market share on the services by putting in protections… there are things competing for listeners’ attention, like podcasts… So finding out ways to protect ourselves in the structures of those deals”.