Thoughts on this year
When I think about podcasts, I immediately think of content. Each episode whether it be fifteen minutes or two hours, it’s audio content created for someone to consume. Podcasts are great because each show is unique, and therefore unique content.
Everyone is aware of the acquisitions Spotify made in 2019 and 2020 related to the podcast industry. Joe Rogan, Last Podcast on the Left, Parcast, Gimlet Media are some of the big names Spotify either acquired or made content exclusive to their platform. Son of a Hitman (pretty decent show) and other podcasts are now being produced and released by Spotify. Does Spotify think Podcasts will take over music? No.
Spotify is trying to make their streaming platform more sticky for consumers, so it’s harder for them to leave or continue on a freemium model. The theory is if Chris loves Joe Rogan, he likely will also use Spotify to listen to music rather than AppleMusic, Tidal, Amazon and others. In the end, this will allow Spotify to finally raise their monthly prices. The company needs to use podcasts and other exclusive content to raise their pricing power. Every other streaming provider will follow suit…
What Does this Mean?
There is going to be a significant amount of acquisitions in the podcast space this year by streaming providers.
This past week I did my 2021 budgeting and planning–basically a great excuse to feel productive while my body recovers from the punishment I put it through over the Holiday season. Man, do I have a lot of streaming subscriptions: Spotify, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon, Stitcher, HBO MAX and others. My bundle is almost as expensive as my old cable bill.
I’m not alone. Streaming providers are trying to make content exclusive so you do not cancel, and will continue to produce and acquire content. For these large companies the goal is to sign on new users each month to their platform, and retain existing users. Shareholders love subscription models because of the recurring revenue, and this is here to stay.
Content is Content
Content is king–I’m sure you’ve heard this cliche. If not I feel special for introducing you to a phrase that you likely hear on any business podcast when discussing media. Streaming platforms need content–it does not matter if it is music, podcasts, ebooks, documentaries, series or movies. The more exclusive content a platform has, the better positioned to grow their subscribers and retain existing.
Exclusive content like podcasts will become more valuable, especially as other content production is halted because of COVID. I mean Tom Cruise is on a cruise ship filming a movie while berating his staff. (Great audio clip if you want a laugh)
2021 will be the year of content acquisition.