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Spotify Technology SA is testing a new version of its app that gives podcasts more prominence, an overhaul the company hopes will make it easier for people to find and listen to the radio-style programs.
The new version of the app puts podcasting and music on equal footing, marking a clear signal that Spotify wants to be in all forms of audio.
Tabs at the top of users’ libraries display the words “music” and “podcasts” in a large font making podcasts more prominent and accessible than they ever have been in the past.
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With over 29 million episodes coming from 700,000 podcasts worldwide, Apple Inc.’s podcast app is still the dominant way most people listen to podcasts. They are the one to beat accounting for more than 60% of all listening but despite recent attempts to attract paid subscribers, they currently have only 56 million paid subscribers.
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Spotify’s plan certainly has the ability to succeed as they already have a built in audience of 207 million users (both free users & paid subscriptions) and have proven in the past they can attract subscribes across a wide range of demographics.
They certainly are in a great position to introduce podcasts to their audience and have mastered the ability to attract new listeners every day.
One of the problems they aim to solve is discoverability.
There are thousands of podcasts out there but unless they have mastered the art of SEO and executed a top rate marketing plan early on as podcasting was establishing it’s roots, they aren’t getting discovered.
Spotify aims to improve that discovery developing a search engine interface that understands what podcast you and I like just as they have accomplished with their music suggestion algorithms.
With more than 100 million subscribers and 200 million users, Spotify is the largest paid music service in the world. But the company’s recurring losses are major source of concern for investors. Music rights holders commandeer more than 60% of Spotify’s revenue in the form of royalties. And the company has agreed not to push for another cut in licensing fees in the current round of negotiations with the music industry.
As a result, Spotify has experimented with other ways of reducing the share of revenue gobbled up by music royalties, such as enabling artists to bypass record labels and upload their work directly. While the program has attracted hundreds of artists, most of the world’s biggest acts are staying with their labels.
This pushes Spotify to sink millions of dollars into an equally strong podcasting platform that will be able to leverage billions of dollars in ad revenue against the thousands of original programs they aim to host including our Daily feeds coming from AVA Live Radio.
It’s a great day to be in original content production and a win for indie artists all over the world who will be bringing their music and story telling to our broadcast.
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