Spotify buys Podz to make it easier to find podcasts you love

Illustration from article titled Spotify Buys Podz To Make It Easy To Find Podcasts You Actually Like

Drawing: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP (Getty Images)

Finding a new podcast that you really love is easier said than done. It’s a task that takes time, effort, and a good deal of your attention. Spotify wants to make this tedious process easier and is betting on this podcast discovery technology developed by a startup will help its users find and get addicted to new shows.

The company announced Thursday that he had acquired the Podz podcast discovery platform, a startup that has developed a so-called “audio news feed” which features 60 second clips from different podcasts. Here’s where the technology comes in: Instead of just replicating the clips chosen by the podcast makers, Podz uses a machine learning model to select clips from the best moments from the shows. This allows users to preview a variety of podcasts in a matter of minutes rather than listening to entire 30- or 60-minute shows.

Spotify said that the combination Podz with its 2.6 million podcastersroof, the lessons of his previous work in musical discovery and the current investments in podcast recommendation will allow him to Take podcast discovery to the next level. Overall, the company maintains that it will be easier for users to find shows they like and for podcast makers to build a fan base.

“Spotify has machine learning experts focused on improving audio discovery for almost a decade, but there is still work to be done,” the company said in a statement. news announcement. “We believe Podz’s technology will complement and accelerate Spotify’s focused efforts to drive discovery, deliver listeners the right content at the right time, and accelerate the growth of the category around the world.”

According to TechCrunch, Podz’s machine learning model has been trained on over 100,000 hours of audio and has been considered by journalists and audio editors. Back in February, the point of sale reported that Podz had raised $ 2.5 million in pre-seed funding. In addition to receiving investments from venture capital firms like M13 and Canaan Partners, he also had backers like Katie Couric and Paris Hilton. (For reference, both Couric and Hilton have podcasts).

Spotify did not say how much it paid to acquire Podz.

Acquisition is the final step in the battle to monetize podcasting. In April, Spotify announced its paid subscription platform, which allows creators to offer subscriptions to their shows. Interestingly, Spotify said it won’t charge podcasters for the use of the platform for the first two years and expects them to pay only the payment transaction fees. In 2023, however, Spotify will start charging a 5% fee for using the platform.

This contrasts with Apple, which will take 30% of the subscription fee for podcasts in the first year and 15% in subsequent years. Apple launched podcast subscriptions integrated into the app this month.

Spotify is integrating Podz’s technology into its platform, and users can expect to see parts of it before the end of the year.

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