It’s not just the digital video giants like Netflix and Hulu banking on original content to save bottom lines, but streaming audio services as well.
Spotify has been a bit more quiet in this regard compared to Apple Music (AAPL) with its upcoming Carpool Karaoke season or even the Beats 1 digital radio station. But the Swedish streaming music company is further experimenting on a medium exploding with both listeners and advertisers over the last few years: podcasts.
Spotify is stepping up the game with more original podcasts being produced by some of the more popular and budding podcast networks, such as Slate’s Panoply and Gimlet Media, the production company behind the tech-minded Startup and Reply All podcasts as well as the beloved but currently defunct Mystery Show.
Following up an initial dabble in podcasts in 2015, Spotify is planning to roll out three new programs over the next three months, starting today with Panoply’s Showstopper. Hosted by The Fader‘s editor-in-chief Naomi Zeichner, the biweekly podcast will hone in on TV shows and music, promising episodes about HBO’s Girls and Netflix’s Stranger Things, among others.
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Showstopper will be followed by Unpacked on March 14, just in time for the annual South by Southwest Festival in Austin with interviews featuring filmmakers, musicians, and “app-makers.” An audio documentary series about music industry luminary Chris Lighty will round out the initial trio on a date yet-to-be-announced in April.
Spotify counted more than 100 million monthly active users as of June 2016, with 40 million paid subscribers as of September 2016. But the company isn’t unique in the music industry that it desperately and constantly needs to produce new revenue streams, glaringly revealed by financial documents filed in Luxembourg last year.
Still, Spotify has insisted it has a plan to actually turn a profit beyond its freemium music ad-based and subscription models. Some recent moves have included high-profile deals (such as one with the New York Times) and a relative coup to make sure Prince’s music catalog came back to the platform (as it did to Amazon, Pandora, and Apple Music).
Although Spotify didn’t specify how many, the company said it will deliver more podcasts later this year.