Daniel Ek explains Spotify’s future in audio – not just music

In a new statement Daniel Ek discusses the future for Spotify as they move beyond music streaming to become an all-round audio platform in an ever-changing industry.

Spotify’s founder and CEO, Daniel Ek has written a large statement on Spotify’s focus moving forward. In particular he talks about their evolution from a primarily music streaming service to an overall audio platform with radio and podcasts a priority moving forward.

Although Ek makes clear, “this doesn’t make music any less important at Spotify,” he sees the future of entertainment in wider audio formats. “With the world focused on trying to reduce screen time, it opens up a massive audio opportunity,” Ek states, adding: “We want Spotify to be at the center of the global audio economy.”

Ek makes a point of how video entertainment is worth drastically more than audio, even though they are consumed in roughly the same amount. He posits the question: “Are our eyes really worth 10 times more than our ears? I firmly believe this is not the case.”

Whilst Ek clearly has a lot of new ambitions for the evolution of Spotify, there’s a clear focus on podcasting in his statement. He explains how in the past 2 years since they introduced podcasts that they have become the second-biggest podcasting platform. Podcast users apparently also spend nearly twice the amount of time on Spotify.

Using radio industry data Spotify predict that “over time” more than 20% of all listening on Spotify will be non-music content. To expand their podcasting goals, this week they announced the acquisition of two podcasting companies: Gimlet and Anchor.

Ek says:

Just as we’ve done with music, our work in podcasting will focus intensively on the curation and customisation that users have come to expect from Spotify. We will offer better discovery, data, and monetisation to creators. 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 while enhancing the Spotify brand.

Ultimately, if we are successful, we will begin competing more broadly for time against all forms of entertainment and informational services, and not just music streaming services. We welcome this. Fair competition on an even playing field is what yields the most creative output and innovation, and will result in the best experience for listeners and creators.

In our industry, things change fast but the path ahead for Spotify is clear – we want to become the world’s leading audio platform, and today is an important step in that direction.

Keep listening.

Daniel Ek

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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