Spotify enters the podcast major league, acquiring Gimlet and Anchor

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Spotify plans to spend $400 million to $500 million on acquisitions in 2019.

Webster said he thought Spotify's acquisition into podcasting also could push more labels to become more open to letting podcasts use licensed music.

Spotify cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek has announced that the company has just bought two of the largest podcasting producers in the world, Gimlet Media and Anchor.

According to Recode, Spotify is around $230 million for Gimlet. But when it's all said and done, Ek believes the move will position Spotify as more than just a streaming music service. The format is really evolving and while podcasting is still a relatively small business today, I see incredible growth potential for the space and for Spotify in particular.

Recode points out that the acquisition puts Spotify in the content creation business for the first time - something the company hasn't done in its nearly 11 years in the music industry.

"We are still at the dawn of the second golden age of audio, and we know Spotify is a flawless partner and platform to take Gimlet - and podcasting at large - to a new level", said Gimlet founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber in a statement.

Gimlet spokesman Kevin Turner said the company's 120 employees would be joining Spotify.

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In Ek's blog today he stated that "This opportunity starts with the next phase of growth in audio - podcasting".

What do you think of the Spotify podcast listening experience?

Spotify already boasts a presence in podcasting, having acquired shows from actress and comedian Amy Schumer and rapper Joe Budden.

"These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world's leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content".

Gimlet, based in NY, has produced several popular podcasts, including "Homecoming", a drama about a rehabilitation program for former military members that was made into an Amazon show starring Julia Roberts. Anchor will bring its platform of tools for podcast creators and its established and rapidly growing creator base. "We look forward to continuing to empower creators all over the world to build an audience, generate revenue, and most importantly, have their voices heard". Therefore, if the service can get more people to listen to a higher number of podcasts, maybe it can even become the world's largest.

Separately, Spotify announced that it had achieved its first quarterly profit, and for the first time in the firm's history, its operating income, net income, and free cash flow were all positive.

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