Spotify still actively evaluating podcast targets, weighing strategy, executive says

Provided by Mergermarket

Audio content streaming service Spotify [NYSE:SPOT] is still actively evaluating M&A targets in the podcasting space, even as a 2019 target of up to USD 500m in acquisitions has yet to play out, Paul Vogel, head of investor relations, FP&A and treasury said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 28th Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York City today, Vogel reiterated that the USD 500m was a forecast of targets the company had in its pipeline, some of which came to fruition and some of which did not.

Spotify first disclosed the number in its 4Q18 earnings report in February, along with the announcement of a USD 340m deal to acquire leading podcast studios Gimlet Media and Anchor.

Asked whether the company’s planned cadence of acquisitions has changed, Vogel said that the company has not updated the USD 500m number, but stressed that Spotify is still “testing and learning” in podcasts.

The company is exploring the extent to which it needs to acquire studios versus relying on openly available podcast content, Vogel said. He added that the podcasting market is not homogenous, rather divided among many different content verticals.

As it gets a clearer picture on these strategic questions, Spotify can more accurately determine the price it should be paying for content, Vogel said. The main question is what else is available in the market that is of interest to Spotify, now that it has acquired the two largest independent podcast studios, he added.

Spotify has done at least one follow-up deal, acquiring Parcast in March.

The company’s market cap is USD 23.15bn.

by Jonathan Guilford


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