Spotify has reached an agreement with US broadcaster NPR to distribute 26 podcasts internationally.
Starting today (opens in new tab), Spotify users can access a roster of NPR shows including the popular 'NPR News Hour', 'Planet Money', 'Car Talk' and 'Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!', news which comes after the company announced another multi-year podcast deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just a day earlier.
Spotify also revealed the top five most popular NPR podcasts on its platform to date: 'NPR News Now', 'TED Radio Hour', 'Up First', 'Short Wave' and 'Planet Money', pointing to the burgeoning demand for premium audio content across the globe.
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In a recent statement, the company revealed 22% of its 320 million monthly active users – that's around 70 million listeners – tuned into podcast content in Q3 of this year, up from 63 million in Q2. There are apparently now 1.9 million podcasts on Spotify, with nearly 1.5 million of those added in the last year.
This latest deal with NPR represents the logical extension of another deal penned in 2018, which allowed select programmes from the radio network to be streamed via Spotify in the US.
It's also been reported that Spotify has been distributing surveys to users asking how they'd feel about paying extra for their podcasts – which at the moment are free to listen to inside Spotify, with ads attached.
As part of a Spotify podcast subscription, users could expect to pay anywhere from £2-6 a month for exclusive access to original episodes, bonus content, early access to unreleased shows and, of course, the removal of ads (much like YouTube Premium).
Plans to monetize podcasts – along with the hurried acquisition of several brands and partners – suggests Spotify is hoping to profit from the recent boom in the medium, so expect to see an Apple-esque 'Spotify Podcasts' extension to your standard premium subscription in the near future.
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