Spotify, in Major Podcast Push, Acquires Gimlet Media and Audio Tool Start-Up Anchor

Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, today announced two new acquisitions that will help it in leading the podcast market.

Spotify said Wednesday in a blog post it would acquire podcast production network Gimlet Media and podcast creation, distribution and sponsorship platform Anchor. The announcement came in conjunction with its 2018 Q4 earnings release, and acquisition terms were not disclosed though Recode reported a price tag of more than $230 million for Gimlet Media last week.

“These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand,” said Daniel Ek, Spotify co-founder and CEO. “We are proud to welcome Gimlet and Anchor to the Spotify team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.”

Gimlet, founded in 2014 by former journalist and public radio producer Alex Blumberg and ex-BCG exec Matthew Lieber, is one of the leading podcast companies in the industry. It has a slew of popular shows that focus on everything from entrepreneurship to science, including Startup, Homecoming, and Reply All. The network reaches roughly 12 million people and has raised $28.5 million USD in funding.

Spotify is poised to become the largest audio platform in the world and we are excited for Gimlet’s award-winning podcasts to connect with new audiences around the world,” said Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, co-founders of Gimlet Media. “The medium of audio is uniquely great at creating human connection and understanding. We are thrilled that Gimlet is joining Spotify to do that at a global scale, on the platform and beyond.”

Anchor, meanwhile, provides tools for podcast producers to create content. The company, founded in 2015, hosts audio content, helps creators monetize their shows, allows for quick distribution of content to podcasting apps, and has raised $14.5 million USD in funding.

“We are incredibly excited to introduce Anchor’s industry-best podcasting tools to Spotify’s massive user base as we continue our journey, now with even greater resources,” said Michael Mignano, CEO of Anchor. “We look forward to continuing to empower creators all over the world to build an audience, generate revenue, and most importantly, have their voices heard.”

Spotify has grown quickly in the two years that it has offered podcasts and now has the second largest podcast platform behind Apple. By purchasing Gimlet and Anchor, the Swedish streaming giant gains a stable of popular, professionally-produced podcasts as well as the means for anyone with a smartphone to record and share a podcast, covering a broad spectrum of the podcasting world with just two acquisitions.