Jun 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Spotify inks big-name podcast deals to outflank rivals SiriusXM and Amazon

Illustration of Spotify logo listening to music

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify has continued its streak of impressive podcasting deals, confirming two exclusive partnerships to distribute new podcasts from Kim Kardashian West and Warner Bros. last week.

The big picture: Its efforts come as rivals continue to try to bolster their own podcast businesses, including SiriusXM, which acquired Spotify's music rival Pandora in 2018.

  • SiriusXM said last week that it acquired the popular podcasting platform, Simplecast, a podcast management platform that helps podcasters publish, manage, and measure their content. 
  • In announcing the deal, SiriusXM said that the new company, paired with its adtech subsidiary AdsWizz, "creates an end-to-end solution that enables creators to publish and generate revenue from their podcasts, all in one place."

Why it matters: The big question for the podcast industry is which company will be able to successfully build an end-to-end podcast network that will push the industry to grow its advertising potential faster, similar to what Google and Facebook did for digital publishing.

  • The podcast ad business is expected to bring in less than $1 billion in revenue this year.
  • So far, Spotify's ambitious efforts to acquire podcast companies and shell out big bucks for exclusive podcast rights seem to be leading the way.
  • But SiriusXM, Amazon and — to an extent — Apple, have shown signs that they're interested in getting in on the podcast long-game.
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