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What Spotify Needs to Become a Good Podcast App

Today, Spotify announced that it plans to spend up to $ 500 million on podcast-related acquisitions. The first purchase in that journey is Gimlet Media, which makes Reply All and other popular shows, and Anchor, which allows anyone to easily make their own podcasts. This is huge news for the growing podcast industry as it is already expected to generate nearly $ 700 million in revenue by 2020.

Spotify made its name as a music app, but now CEO Daniel Ek says the company is interested in not just being a listening platform for any podcast, but also creating its own exclusive releases. Suffice it to say, Spotify wants to be a big player in the podcast room and invest heavily to fill this role. However, before it is a podcast behemoth, the company must work on its signature app. Here's what Spotify should do before it can be the best place to listen to and possibly create podcasts.

Clear separation of podcasts and music

First of all, Spotify must rearrange its app, especially on mobile platforms. The podcast tab in search is clunky on the website and difficult to navigate. Accessing your podcasts is also not easy as you have to navigate to your library and go from there. The developing website sometimes shows podcasts at the top, but other times it does not. In general, Spotify should be better at separating the two devices and making podcasts easy to find.

Add charts, reviews and ratings

Spotify offers top music maps, but has limited podcast charts. The team builds an annual best list and also has a "what & # 39; s trending" and "top podcasts" chart. It sorts podcasts into categories like "Stories" and "News & Politics", but it seems to be independently curated.

It might follow Apple's example ̵

1; iTunes and Apple Podcasts have led the way with curation and charts. The company has top charts on the episode and series level for each show category, as well as overall charts for top podcasts. The company also allows people to judge shows and leave reviews. These are useful for evaluating shows and can also contribute to how the company creates chart placements.

Personal playlists are a must

Spotify is known for its work on Discover Weekly, which made the personal music discovery as simple as a weekly playlist. Hopefully the company will do the same for podcasts, which could solve users' discovery problems. Most people hear about shows through friends, but the industry, and perhaps listeners, would appreciate another way.

The NPR One app is already playing in this arena. App & # 39; makes personal playlists based on user listening habits. Personally, I'm not happy with this app, but I imagine that many people would use a similar Spotify feature, especially if they are bored with their current slate of shows.

Creators Should Make Money From

Prior to the acquisition, Anchor announced a sponsor feature that allows podcasts to request sponsorship. Hopefully, Spotify will benefit from this model, which allows creators to leverage their work while Anchor takes a 30 percent cut. This type of function will be important for independent creators who want to make money from their work. Typically, creators must either partner with a larger podcast network to get ads or put more work on their end to face potential sponsor's eyes. This makes it effortless and puts all aspects of podcast creation into one app.

No private feeds

Adding the option of a private feed could benefit both listeners and creators. The feeds are convenient for anyone who subscribes to individual creators through services like Patreon. Companies will sometimes also release internal shows. Spotify does not offer the ability to access these feeds right now. Apple, on the other hand, allows adding podcasts via an RSS link that Patreon users can share on an individual basis. Again, this is a way to make podcasting lucrative for creators while making it a destination for individual listeners.

Consider Adding Anchor's Unique Features, such as Calls and Creation

Anker introduced several unique features that are not in traditional podcast apps and give listeners a place to interact with their favorite hosts. Creators can mark calls from their listeners, add people to conversations, and share transcribed video of their show on social.

None of these alone are industry-wide, but together they show how much Anker was in front of others, to give the creators a place to make their show and chat with their audience. Spotify could also be the place.

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