Spoken word the new focus for Spotify

Spoken word the new focus for Spotify

Audiobooks and spoken word are now Spotify’s biggest focus, the firm has said.

At yesterday’s inaugural Frankfurt Audio Summit, Michael Krause, Spotify m.d. for central Europe, outlined how the company has moved into podcasts in recent years. It now hosts more than 450,000 podcasts, and aims to become the world’s largest podcast base.

Before Krause’s keynote, Katja Boehne, marketing and communications director for the Frankfurt Book Fair, said: “If moving image is king, then audio is queen.” Krause echoed this, adding: “Audio is our biggest focus and strategy, and the biggest part of audio for now is podcasts. There is this big trend for audio. People are bored of looking at screens, and this is another way for them to access stories.”

Spotify has 233 million active listeners, with 108 million of those paying for ad-free content. When it comes to podcasts, its biggest audience is 25 to 34-year-olds. Spotify has more Millennials listening to its content than any other platform. According to Krause, most listeners engage with podcasts during leisure time, when they are doing household chores, or on their commute. Podcasts are also increasingly popular among people who live alone, he said, because “they provide companionship”.

In the US and Germany, Spotify has rolled out Daily Drive, which curates playlists of music and podcasts for commuters. Krause praised publishers for entering the podcast market, and added that the format should be utilised by authors to help build their brands, with 67% of “power listeners” (those who listen to more than five hours of podcasts a week) following their favourite podcast’s host/s on social media. He said: “It’s a way of connecting with your readers, during the writing process, during the time between your last and next book. It is a real opportunity.”