Spotify today announced that it has acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor in a bid to boost its podcast efforts. The company is willing to spend around $500 million this year to acquire and further bolster its podcast streaming efforts.

For Gimlet alone, Spotify has paid around $230 million. The company’s CEO Daniel Ek says with podcast users spending almost twice the time on the platform, there’s a huge potential for Spotify to grow here. Eventually, it will lead to almost 20 percent of entire listening on Spotify being podcast alone.

The acquisition of Gimlet means that Spotify now has the second largest podcasting platform after Apple.

In just shy of two years, we have become the second-biggest podcasting platform. And, more importantly, users love having podcasts as a part of their Spotify experience. Our podcast users spend almost twice the time on the platform, and spend even more time listening to music. We have also seen that by having unique programming, people who previously thought Spotify was not right for them will give it a try.

Based on radio industry data, we believe it is a safe assumption that, over time, more than 20% of all Spotify listening will be non-music content. This means the potential to grow much faster with more original programming — and to differentiate Spotify by playing to what makes us unique — all with the goal of becoming the world’s number one audio platform.

Spotify also announced its Q4 2018 results which saw the company add over 9 million new subscribers. The company had 87 million subscribers in Q3 2018 which jumped to 96 million by the end of Q4 2018.

The influx of new subscribers can be attributed to Spotify running a free Google Home mini offer during the holiday season for new Family Plan subscribers. The marketing campaign helped Spotify in gaining 7 million subscribers in a span of six weeks. This includes a record-breaking addition of almost 500,000 subscribers in a single day.

It remains to be seen if such subscribers stick around or end up abandoning the platform after their free trial is up.

Our Take

The numbers revealed by Spotify today paints a clear picture as to where it stands in its battle with Apple Music. The latter has around 50 million paid subscribers while Spotify has almost double the number of subscribers at 96 million, with a total user base of over 200 million users. Apple Music was growing at a faster rate than Apple Music in Q1-Q3 2018 but Spotify managed to eclipse its growth thanks to the free Google Home mini speaker promo.

[Via Spotify]

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