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🎙️Spotify’s podcast acquisitions, explained

The Hustle

If your team uses Slack, you likely noticed it was down for a bit yesterday. Which got us thinking: Is that more of a blessing or a curse?

In today’s email:

  • Strategy corner: Spotify’s podcast acquisitions, explained.
  • Crypto death: What happens to your bitcoin when you die?
  • Pronghorn: Bridging the gap in the spirits industry.
  • Around the web: Tricking facial recognition software, artful interrupting, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast for a deeper analysis of Spotify’s big podcast push. We’re also talking shop about who owns the copyrights on AI-generated art, why the IRS is struggling this year, and what the latest $3m phishing scam means for NFTs.

The big idea
Spotify logo

Spotify’s made lots of podcast acquisitions. What’s the master plan?

Spotify hasn’t been shy about its podcast ambitions — dropping $1B+ on acquisitions isn’t exactly subtle.

Last week, the company added to its podcast tech stack by acquiring Chartable and Podsights.

Per The Verge, both companies provide analytics that help marketers, advertisers, and podcasters measure the ROI of podcast advertising.

So where do its newest acquisitions fit in?

Spotify’s podcast acquisitions generally fall into 2 buckets:

  • Content acquisitions, like Gimlet Media, The Ringer, and the exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience, serve to drive listeners to Spotify’s platform.
  • Technology acquisitions serve a wide range of purposes, but all align on one thing: getting more podcasters to host their shows on Spotify.

With its newest acquisitions…

… Spotify can offer podcasters the entire package:

  • Creation: Spotify acquired Anchor in 2019, which allows podcasters to quickly and easily create a podcast
  • Discovery: Spotify acquired Podz in 2021, which enables listeners to more easily find new podcasts
  • Monetization: Spotify acquired Megaphone in 2020, which helps podcasters make money by inserting ads in podcast episodes

With Chartable and Podsights, Spotify can now help podcasters show advertisers ROI on their ad placements as well.

Spotify’s strategy is a classic network play

In any 2-sided network, there is a supply side and a demand side. In the world of podcasts, podcasters provide supply, while listeners drive demand.

Both sides need each other, and Spotify has gone all-in to fuel both in an effort to accelerate its market share.

So far, it’s worked — between 2018 and 2021, Spotify grew supply from 185k podcasts to 3.2m, and in October, the company reported more US listeners than Apple Podcasts.

Despite recent headaches from its content acquisitions (ahem, Joe Rogan), it appears Spotify’s big bucks are paying off.

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Donut time: Though less than expected, Krispy Kreme saw its 1st quarterly profit since it went public in July. It credits Halloween and Valentine’s Day for boosted sales. #ecommerce-retail

This is cool: Jaundice in newborns is often treated with blue light, but in some areas, phototherapy units are scarce. One startup is stepping in with solar power. #clean-energy

Sunny disposition: Creston Home is launching circadian rhythm lighting that makes a smart home’s indoor glow mimic the sun’s. #emerging-tech

Creepy: TechCrunch did a deep dive into how spyware apps known as “stalkerware” can expose Android users’ phone data. #privacy

According to analysts, bitcoin’s recent drop is due to the escalating Russia-Ukraine situation. As tensions mount, traders avoid taking risks. #fintech-crypto

Netflix plans to spend at least $45m per year for the next 3 years on French and European movies. They’ll open in French theaters, then hit Netflix 15 months later. #big-tech

crypto infographic

What happens to your bitcoin when you die?

Bitcoin has been declared dead by notable skeptics at least 350 times. How do we know this? The “Bitcoin Is Dead” database, of course.

There are bitcoin owners, on the other hand, who have quite literally died. And when a bitcoin owner dies, complications can arise.

One such case is that of Jennifer Robertson, whose husband died along with knowledge of the key to $215m in crypto holdings belonging to 76k+ investors, leading to conspiracy theory mayhem. (She just published a book about the wild ordeal.)

All that is to say, some crypto investors are beginning to think about the afterlife of their digital assets.

To learn more about what happens to your bitcoin when you die and the burgeoning crypto inheritance industry…

Read the full story →

Black History Month podcast playlist

We got your mid-week slump covered, easy.

The HubSpot Podcast Network is celebrating Black History Month with a curated playlist of episodes from across the repertoire. Enjoy this mashup of top conversations featuring Black professionals and entrepreneurs.

Save the Black History Month playlist on Spotify:

  • How to be a better ally to the Black community with Troy Sandidge, by iDigress
  • Why marketers need to listen to Black voices with Efua Obeng, by MarTech Podcast
  • 2022 social media trends with Andrea Jones, by Being Boss
  • 5 steps to make marketing more inclusive with Sonia Thompson, by Online Marketing Made Easy
  • How to get better at copywriting with Cole Schafer, by The ABM Conversations Podcast

Plenty more inside. Great for working or cleaning or driving.

Black excellence in audio →
Booze News

Pronghorn helps Black entrepreneurs break into the spirits industry

The booze industry in the US is pretty white.

A 2015 James Beard Award-winning article tackled the issue in the craft beer scene, while a Forbes expose looked into racism in the wine industry.

Sorel founder Jackie Summers became the 1st Black American to hold a distilling license since Prohibition… in 2012.

To close the gap, industry vets Dia Simms, Erin Harris, and Dan Sanborn launched Pronghorn, an incubator and accelerator, in 2021.

According to Pronghorn’s research…

… Black Americans account for 12% of alcohol consumers, but only 7.8% of the industry’s employees and 2% of executives.

Dia Simms is the CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal, but has worked in the industry for 20+ years and understands the challenges newcomers face.

“It’s the only industry that has a constitutional amendment dedicated to it, so there are regulatory hurdles that are unprecedented in other industries,” she told The Hustle.

For example, rules and regulations don’t just change by state, but by county, which can be confusing.

Meanwhile, it’s also full of legacy families, which can make it hard for new players to break through. And just like in any industry, it’s often about who you know.

“One of the biggest problems with diversity in this country, I think, is social segregation and the fact that people just don’t actually know each other,” Simms said. “Let’s figure out how we bridge the gap.”

Pronghorn has 2-pronged approach

Over the next decade, Pronghorn wants to:

  • Place Black employees in 1.8k roles within the industry. “Hiring is a pipeline for future entrepreneurs.”
  • Invest in 57 Black-owned brands, providing not just capital but also access to resources, industry experts, data, training, and connections.

“Diversity is not a zero-sum game. It’s an opportunity for us to add more seats, not necessarily take [them] away,” Simms said.

If you are or know a Black spirits entrepreneur, submissions for Pronghorn’s programs are open now.

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💉 On this day: In 1954, children at a Pennsylvania school received the 1st injections of Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine.

🎮 Cure boredom: Love video games? Steam’s Next Fest includes hundreds of livestreams and downloadable demos through Feb. 28.

😐 That’s interesting: Can you fool facial recognition software? Find out here.

👍 How to: You need to Slack your co-worker, but what if they’re busy? Here’s a guide to interrupting colleagues without annoying them.

🦉 Aww: Pinecone is a screech owl who fell out of his nest in a storm. Luckily, he was rescued and now lives at the Oregon Zoo.

Cartoon of the day
podcast cartoon

“Should I start a podcast?” No. No you should not. (Source: Marketoonist)

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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the United States or D.C. 18 years or older who can prove active enrollment in a Historically Black College or University can enter. Ends February 25, 2022. Void where prohibited.

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