By swallowing up Gimlet, Spotify can now put the HBO of podcast studios behind its own garden walls.
From Ben Thompson’s Stratechery mail-blast Monday ($):
Apple meanwhile, is doubling down on the Services Narrative, which raises the question as to why it isn’t doing more to capitalize on podcasts? I can think of a few reasons:
- One, Apple may not believe that podcasts are a very large opportunity, and that Spotify is mistaken.
- Two, the scale of opportunity that moves the needle for Apple (an $800 billion company) must be massively larger than the scale of opportunity that moves the needle for Spotify (a $24
- Three, for all of Apple’s discussion about becoming a services company, perhaps it is the case that the company uncovered a gushing fountain of revenue from the App Store, and that senior leadership is still not particularly attuned to what other services revenue opportunities may exist.
I put these reasons in order: I think the likelihood of them being true increases the further down you go.
My take: Me too.
As a heavy media consumer who spends more hours per day on podcasts than on TV and print combined, I’m a believer in thje new golden age of audio. I’ve been rooting for Gimlet Media from the start, and I couldn’t be happier for Alex Blumberg, Matt Lieber and the crew. Like the breakthrough podcast Serial, Gimlet was an early spin-off of This American Life that brought national public radio-quality production values and story telling to the birthing of a new medium. Gimlet’s early work—including Blumberg’s own radically transparent StartUp—will still be available on Apple Music. Gimlet’s new work, I presume, will not.