As Spotify gets into podcasts, industry readies for a new era | 2/22/2019 | Staff
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Some are calling it the second golden age of audio.

Podcasting, once viewed as a niche industry that catered to public radio fans, got a major boost this month when Swedish streaming giant Spotify agreed to pay around $230 million for Gimlet Media, the New York producer of such audio dramas as "Homecoming" and the documentary series "Crimetown."

Deal—the - Period - Growth - Podcasting - Industry

The deal—the largest to date—comes during a period of rapid growth in podcasting and could transform the industry in much the same way that Netflix changed television, analysts and executives said. Spotify's venture into the business is expected to bolster the value of podcast firms, generate higher licensing fees for producers, and potentially create a more consumer-friendly model built around subscriptions rather than advertising revenue.

"It sends a signal that podcasting's time has come in a big way," said Kelli Richards, chief executive of All Access Group, a digital music and entertainment consultancy. "You are going to see a frenzy of more podcasters entering the system."

Surge - Wave - Consolidations - Market - Podcasts

The surge will probably prompt a wave of consolidations in a crowded market that already boasts more than 550,000 podcasts worldwide on Apple's Podcasts app, one of the most popular ways to discover programs. Newer podcasts will need to work harder to get discovered, said Oren Rosenbaum, head of emerging platforms at United Talent Agency. The agency represents more than 50 podcast creators or companies. "It is getting tougher and more challenging," Rosenbaum said.

BuzzFeed laid off members of its podcast team, while other companies, such as San Antonio-based IHeartMedia Inc. have expanded their footprint, purchasing Atlanta-based Stuff Media, one of the nation's largest podcast publishers, for $55 million last year.

Podcasts - Ad - Dollars - Year - Percent

Podcasts are expected to take in $514.5 million in ad dollars this year, up 28 percent from 2018, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC. That boost has helped fuel Southern...
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