Spotify acquires Podsights and Chartable to advance its podcasting business

FILE PHOTO: Small figurines are seen in front of displayed Spotify logo in this illustration taken February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

(Reuters) - Spotify Inc deepened its investment in podcasting with the acquisitions of Podsights and Chartable, two services that provide greater insights for advertisers and podcasting publishers, the Swedish company said on Wednesday.

Podsights helps marketers gauge the effectiveness of their ads, one area that Spotify said has been a major challenge. Chartable provides audience insights that help podcast publishers measure the effectiveness of their growth campaigns.

Financial details of the transactions were not available.

"Our acquisitions of podcast technology players Podsights and Chartable are helpful in our pursuit of up leveling digital audio measurement insights," said Khurrum Malik, head of ads business marketing at Spotify.

Stockholm-based Spotify has been investing heavily in podcasts as unlike the music business, which is largely commoditized and low margin as it pays out a part of the revenue to the rights holders, podcasts engage listeners for hours on end, creating valuable advertising inventory that has underpinned the optimism by Wall Street over its long term future.

Since it announced its "Audio-First" initiative in 2019, signaling its push into podcasting, Spotify has acquired podcast networks such as Gimlet Media and Anchor, negotiated exclusive deals with popular personalities including Joe Rogan and "Call Her Daddy" host Alex Cooper, and invested in underlying technology.

Rogan has emerged as Spotify's most popular podcast in 90 markets, even as he has become a lightning rod for criticism for views on COVID-19 and use of racist language. He has apologized and more than 100 episodes of his show have been removed.

Spotify has been working to modernize podcast advertising through such features as the real-time ad insertion and acquisitions like Megaphone, which helps podcast publishers earn more from their content. It is hoping to capture a share of the $2 billion that eMarketer predicts will flow into podcasting by 2023.

"We're really excited about bringing this service to advertisers across the United States," Malik said. "But then we want to expand their coverage to international markets."

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Will Dunham and Chizu Nomiyama)

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