Spotify continue to dominate music streaming worldwide and as they look to the year ahead after a phenomenal year in streaming they’re focusing on areas outside of music.

After the most phenomenal year for music streaming yet with more people listening on services around the world Spotify are looking to the year ahead and how to go beyond music. With over 200 million users Spotify are one of the biggest music services in the world but in 2019 they want to put more attention on podcasts as well as expanding their beloved music platform.

Taking their lead from services like Deezer and Google Play who have enjoyed success offering podcasts alongside their giant music catalogues, Spotify have built up the spoken word offerings on their service in the past couple of years. They launched their first exclusive podcasts at the start of 2017 and have since gained in reputation nabbing big names like Joe Budden, who partnered with Spotify to exclusively distribute The Joe Budden Podcast in August, to host their podcasts on Spotify only.

Their exclusive podcasts are only going to grow this year and they’ve already announced a new podcast for Spotify hosted by former chief correspondent and senior columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated and Emmy winning journalist Jemele Hill. Hill will look at the news of the week across sports, politics, culture, music and identity with a range of guests in her weekly podcast ‘Unbothered‘ coming in March on Mondays and Thursdays.

With their focused growth in podcasts Spotify are looking to boost their advertising business by selling them within podcasts to help monetise more areas of their platform and move further towards profitability. The company’s approach to working with podcasters doesn’t reflect it’s exclusive work with artists whose music they don’t want only on Spotify – particularly thanks to the controversy over album exclusives a couple of years ago when Apple were buying artists out.

Spotify Studios’ head, Courtney Holt, said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week: “Over the last year, we become very focused on building out a great podcast universe. The first step was to make sure that we’ve got the world’s best podcasts on Spotify, and integrated the experience into the service in a way that allowed people to build habits and behaviour there. What we started to see is that the types of podcasts that really were working on Spotify were ones where they were really authentic voices… so we just decided to invest more in those types of voices.”

In October Spotify opened up their Podcast platform to everyone in a Beta. This allows podcasters to add their podcast feed to Spotify to upload all existing episodes and ensuring that each new episode gets published to Spotify when they’re uploaded to their host or aggregator. Although the podcasts are uploaded to their platform to be playable by any of their 200+ million users it isn’t actually hosted by them and rather just linked in from the podcast’s original source. Because of this Spotify don’t monetise the podcasts, working on the assumption that those who want to earn money from their podcasts will monetise it at the source.

You can add your podcast feed to Spotify and see stats about how they’re performing at Spotify for Podcasters now. If you run a podcast it’s a good idea to get on Spotify with over 200 million potential listeners and their increased focus on boosting podcasts this year.