Spotify today introduced new technology that allows radio stations to convert their existing audio content into podcasts, or what it calls “broadcast-to-podcast.” Based on IP that Spotify acquired from an Australian-based podcast technology company in late 2021 Whooshkaathe feature set will be integrated into Spotify’s Megaphone business podcast technology platform, which it is already used by Fox audio network and other clients.
The streamer explains that the technology is enabling broadcasters to reach new audiences amid the shift to streaming audio, which may now be impacting their listeners. According to data from an Edison Research report for the third quarter of 2022, time spent listening to online radio broadcasts grew by 50% between 2019 and 2022, Spotify noted, as more consumers tune in through their digital devices.
To some extent, those increases may be due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw more people working from home and less time commuting. But it’s also linked to a general shift in how consumers want to listen to audio programming, as podcasts have grown in popularity as an alternative to broadcast radio. As the data shows, much of the jump happened before pandemic lockdowns, with station streams growing from 8% to 11% between 2019 and 2020, for example, before jumping another point to 12% in 2022.
Additionally, citing data from Pew Research, Spotify suggests its new product offers a better way to reach a younger, Gen Z audience who now prefer their news through digital channels like podcasts.
In addition, Spotify pointed to eMarketer projections for podcast ads expenditurewhich it is expected to achieve nearly $2.2 billion by 2023 as another reason why broadcasters should consider how to reuse their audio for podcast listeners.
Spotify’s real end goal, of course, is to access more audio programming without having to negotiate dearly exclusivity deals with podcast studios and individual podcasters, as it has historically done with figures like Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper, and others. And once in the system, the broadcast audio can be monetized through advertising, just like any other podcast.
Spotify explains that the technology will automatically identify the correct ad market locations within the imported audio after completing a one-time setup process. Traditionally, manually turning a broadcast into a podcast would have taken publishing teams 30 to 60 minutes per episode, Spotify claims. upload to a podcast platform.
At the scale of a broadcast publisher processing hundreds of episodes per day across a larger network, this manual process is not feasible.
With its Megaphone platform, Spotify customers can now choose to use the automatically identified ad marker locations to save time, or they can choose to remove them or replace them with their own. This allows the client to monetize dynamically re-inserted ads. Publishers can use Spotify Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.
“The way listeners interact with audio is constantly changing and we know that digital audio is increasingly becoming their preferred way of listening, especially Gen Z,” said Emma Vaughn, Spotify’s Global Head of Advertising Business Development & Partnerships, in a statement on the launch. . In a blog postthe executive also noted that of Spotify’s 500 million users, it also reaches more than 50% of Gen Z and millennial users in the US
“With this new broadcast-to-podcast feature, we are enabling radio publishers to reach an existing audience throughout the day, as well as engage with a new, younger audience,” added Vaughn.