Spotify Buys Gimlet Plus Anchor
Spotify has taken its biggest dive into podcasting yet. The purchase of Gimlet was long suspected, but the acquisition of Anchor caught many industry insiders by surprise.
Here’s some background. For some time, Spotify has been the #2 player in the podcast space behind Apple. We thought Google would leapfrog them, but despite promises made at Podcast Movement 2018, the internet titan has not prioritized the space. Google’s lag, however, could be Spotify’s gain.
Gimlet Media is a content creation company. It began 5 years ago in New York and creates a number of successful podcasts, including Reply All and Homecoming, the latter of which has become an Amazon Prime TV series. Spotify has long been in the business of audio distribution of other people’s content. Now they will own a piece of the content creation process. How important was this purchase to Spotify? The Swedish media streaming platform spent $230 million to buy Gimlet. This surprised one writer, especially when you consider that iHeartMedia only spent $55 million on Stuff Media, creator of How Stuff Works.
The Gimlet deal was long rumored, but Spotify’s acquisition of Anchor raised eyebrows this morning. Anchor prides themselves on being a one-stop-shop, DIY podcast creation platform. Novices can record audio directly into their phone, tablet, or PC, syndicate it to all the various podcast apps (including Apple, Google, and Spotify), and even accept donations from avid fans. The platform is free for users right now; I wonder if that will continue when they are under the Spotify umbrella.
Spotify has now vertically integrated their podcasting strategy. They have a media company (Gimlet), a hosting platform (Anchor), and a distribution network (Spotify). One of the biggest players in the audio work is all in on podcasts.