Will Spotify Share The Benefits Of Podcasting?

Good news, podcasters! Spotify would like to celebrate your podcast’s growth during 2020! Well done!

Meanwhile, the other hand is working hard to maximise the positive impact of podcasting on Spotify’s bottom line, and it doesn’t look like the podcasters are getting a fair share.

Looking at Spotify’s ‘2020 Wrapped for Podcasters’, there are a few numbers I want to pick out.

First is ‘more than 100,000’. This is, according to an Anchor spokesperson, the number of podcast creators who have some level of earnings through sponsorship provided by Anchor’s services. I’ll also note that there’s no mention of the level of earnings these podcasters are making.

The second is the number of podcasts that use Anchor showing up on Spotify… it’s about seventy percent of Spotify’s library, roughly 1.3 million shows out of 1.7 million.

And if you do the maths, you can spot just how unbalanced podcasting can be when you are dealing with one of the larger publishers. Barely eight in a hundred podcasters are earning any money. And I suspect that many of those are going to be earning under $100 a month from their listener base

Now ask yourself how many of those podcasters will be earning Spotify money? I suspect the answer will be a hundred out of a hundred; podcasts create content for Spotify to provide to its user base – who are either subscribers or listening with advertising support. 

Spotify is also in the business of generating listener minutes. The lions’ share of those minutes come from music. And Spotify has to pay out whenever a track is played. Getting that ‘cost per minute’ down naturally helps the bottom line. One way is for Spotify to have its own catalogue of tracks, thus allowing the royalties to be paid to itself’. Any of these tracks included in popular playlists (such as this one for music to ‘Chill’ out to) will drive down the average cost per listening minute.

If a three minute track can have an impact, imagine the power of a ninety minute podcast… a podcast where the creators will be nowhere near the majority share demanded by the major music publishers, and only eight out of a hundred are earning through Anchor.

What is there for the other ninety-two percent of podcasters using Anchor on Spotify? What of the other podcasters on Spotify which don’t even have this option (and yes, that includes myself)? And what offer is there from the likes of Google, Apple, and Amazon, all stepping up their podcasting game in the hope of cross-selling their own subscription services?

Oh sorry, I forgot. There is a material benefit for podcasters.