Jul 28, 2021 - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek.
Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.

Highlights...

Audience: Ek tells Axios that podcast listeners are stickier than music listeners, even though there had been industry concerns that increased podcast content would cannibalize music attention share.

  • He doesn't believe that podcast audience will ever overtake music audience, pointing out that music continues to dominate terrestrial radio.

Exclusives: He does not believe Spotify has editorial responsibility for what is said on its podcasts, including "The Joe Rogan Experience."

  • "We have a lot of really well-paid rappers on Spotify too, that make tens of millions of dollars, if not more, each year from Spotify. And we don't dictate what they're putting in their songs, either."
  • Spotify last year signed an exclusive deal with Kim Kardashian to launch a podcast on criminal justice, and Ek says he hopes it will begin airing "later in the year."

Creators: Ek does not believe that podcast creators will be paid per-stream royalties, as Spotify pays to music creators. He does, however, believe there will be a broadening and acceleration of podcast monetization options.

Rivals: Ek, whose company has accused Apple of anticompetitive practices, says that Apple has an understandable head start in podcasting — pointing out that the very word owes its existence to Apple's iPod devices.

Playlist: One of Ek's favorite podcasts right now is, "Invest Like The Best," hosted by Patrick O'Shaughnessy, while one of his favorite musical artists is African dance hall star Burna Boy.

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