Alex Hern discusses Spotify’s acquisition of Chartable and Podsights. He explains their significance in being able to target ads within podcasts on Spotify. This is a part of Spotify’s goal to become the YouTube for podcasts.
What the company is bringing to the table for advertisers is obvious enough. When you listen to a podcast on Spotify, you’re not just downloading an MP3 from a server and playing it on a generic app of your choice – you’re streaming straight from Spotify’s servers, with your listening linked directly to your account and all the commensurate profiling that brings with it. Spotify can sell ads on behalf of podcasters, target those ads in a far more granular way than most podcasting apps, and easily roll out technical features – “tap here to buy”, for instance – as advertisers see fit.
The catch with this is that users do not have to listen to many podcasts on Spotify. Personally, I listen through an app, AntennaPod. However, this is the reason that Spotify is also purchasing and producing podcasts to play exclusive on their platform, such as the Who is Danial Johns?. It is also for this reason that BBC is changing the way it distributes its podcasts, having a focus on the BBC Sounds app. With all this in mind, it spells the end to another open format/platform on the web.
I guess this is still better than what has happened with the music industry:
Unlike a record label, publisher, or most anyone else in the music industry, Spotify devotes none of its profits to the development of new recordings.