DC Comics, Kim Kardashian… Spotify hits a record with its podcast strategy

The action of the Swedish group has gained nearly 20% in two days after two deals signed for podcasts. Its valuation is close to $ 45 billion.

Since March 23, Spotify stock has gained more than 100%. With the clearly stated ambition of becoming a major giant in the podcast field, the Swedish group has greatly accelerated the signing of agreements in recent months to expand its catalog of content. This week, he has just enlisted in quick succession the heroes of DC Comics (Batman, Superman, WonderWoman…) and Kim Kardashian. The Swedish has signed a multi-year agreement with DC Comics and Warner Bros., subsidiaries of WarnerMedia. He will have the exclusivity on a series of podcasts of original adventures told, inspired by the universe of these very popular superheroes. The deal also provides for “comedy and drama podcasts” based on the Warner Bros. movie catalog.

Another Choice Take: A criminal affairs podcast directed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who has become a miscarriage of justice, activist for US criminal justice reform, and who plans to sit the California Bar exam in 2022. The announcement of these deals was greeted with enthusiasm on the New York Stock Exchange: Spotify stock jumped more than 12% Thursday and gained more than 6% Friday.

Growth lever

In just 16 months, Spotify has positioned itself as the world’s leading player by investing more than $ 600 million, mainly in content production. In May, he had already acquired the exclusivity of the No. 1 podcast in the United States, the “Joe Rogan Experience”, which claims 190 million downloads per month. The European company did not disclose the amount paid for this exclusivity, but the Wall Street Journal put forward the figure of 100 million dollars. “This is only a licensing agreement, so Spotify will have no creative control over the show.Said podcast author Joe Rogan.

Spotify overtook Apple as the number one podcast listening medium in the first quarter in North America and the UK, according to Midia Research. The company sees podcasts as an important growth lever for the coming years, even if it is now a niche market. “We not only see attractive monetization potential from these exclusives, but we envision future leverage for premium subscription prices and label negotiations.Writes Mark Zgutowicz, Internet and Media Analyst at Rosenblatt.

In early 2019, Spotify bought Gimlet Media, the podcast specialist for $ 230 million, the Anchor production interface for more than $ 100 million and another studio specializing in criminal podcasts, Parcast. At the beginning of February, she also got her hands on the production studio The Ringer, specializing in sports podcasts and around pop culture.

At the end of the first quarter, Spotify was claiming a paying subscriber portfolio of 130 million users and a net profit of 1 million euros. The company has revised upwards its revenue forecast for 2021, which also explains the enthusiasm of investors for the title which is now worth $ 240.

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