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Spotify gets NPR as two giants combine strengths

In a pivotal deal, NPR announced that its entire podcast catalog is now available on Spotify for the first time. All shows from the public media outlet, both familiar favorites and new titles, will have a home on the streaming audio service. The arrangement brings the world’s largest podcast publisher into the second largest podcast distribution platform (by at least one measurement).

“Public radio podcast lovers, clear your schedules,” is how NPR leads off the official announcement. That’s a fun way to say that a lot of new listening is available to Spotify’s 170-million monthly active users (according to its Q1 earnings report).

Other metrics indicate the significance of this dead. NPR has a monthly podcast audience of about 16-million people (according to Podtrac). A few months ago the hosting company Libsyn, which hosts 25,000 shows, said that Spotify generated 5.1% of Libsyn show consumption, making it the #2 distribution for Libsyn. T
The Spotify app offers a growing podcast catalog for streaming, smoothly incorporating podcasts into the mostly-music platform. The shows can be downloaded for offline listening.

“Our audience numbers show that people crave that and want to access podcasts on as many platforms as possible,” said Meg Goldthwaite, NPR’s chief marketing officer, emphasizing the value of integrating different categories of listening in a single app. “Whether it’s getting out the door with Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits or Are & Be playlists, or wrapping up your day with NPR’s TED Radio Hour, listeners are now able to do it all from one app on Spotify.”

“For both Spotify and NPR, joining forces just makes sense, and we’re delighted to bring NPR podcasts to Spotify users,” said Dossie McCraw, Global Head of Podcast Partnerships at Spotify.

According to the NPR post, people have spent “hundreds of millions of hours” tuning in to podcasts on Spotify. The audio platform has been expanding its offerings since adding podcasts to its existing music programming. Spotify also has shows from hosts such as Podomatic, media companies such as Genius, and is also exploring its own in-house production.

RAIN News Staff

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