'This is a landmark moment': Spotify to offer users BBC podcasts

'This is a landmark moment': Spotify to offer users BBC podcasts

Spotify has been busy making some significant deals as continues its post-IPO growth strategy.

Following a long-term partnership with Apple’s tech rival Samsung, Spotify has now teamed up with the BBC to secure access to the broadcaster’s podcasts for its users.

From today (August 13), hundreds of BBC podcasts produced for BBC iPlayer Radio and the BBC Sounds app can be accessed by Spotify’s UK users. 

Rival streaming companies and record labels are also making efforts to reach a podcast audience.

The BBC content is accessible in the ‘Podcasts’ section within Browse on Spotify – categories include Comedy, News & Politics, Educational, Sport & Recreation, Lifestyle & Health, Business & Technology, and Kids & Family.

James Cator, Spotify’s head of podcast partnerships, EMEA, said: “The addition of BBC podcasts to our podcast library in the UK is a landmark moment for us here at Spotify. As one of the leading podcast platforms we’re excited to be bringing such a wealth of additional, high quality content on board, all of which is available to all UK Spotify users.”

The addition of BBC podcasts is a landmark moment for us here at Spotify

James Cator

BBC radio has had to face up to a potential threat for its listeners from streaming playlists, though the podcasts partnership makes sense as the broadcaster looks to reach a new audience with on-demand content. The recently launched BBC Sounds app is focused on discovery and on-demand listening. 

While plans for original video content have been cut back at Spotify, the streaming giant has been branching out into podcasts. As well as bringing in new users, Spotify’s broadening of its audio content also means it is not so reliant on labels and can reduce the proportion of its sales revenue going to the music industry. Spotify is also reaching out to bring in new artists directly onto the platform and playlists.

Under the new deal, thousands of BBC episodes across a number of genres will ultimately become available for UK Spotify users across all devices. 

“The BBC is one of the largest content creators in the UK, and have worked with the biggest and best audio talent in the world,” said Cator. “To have a comprehensive audio catalogue in the UK, the BBC are essential, so adding the BBC to our rapidly expanding catalogue of podcasts was a natural partnership.”

He added: “The majority of the population doesn’t listen to podcasts - yet. The beauty of podcasts is that it is so easy for everyone - whether you’re an individual self-starter, a small independent media company, or a huge corporation - to create a podcast and experiment with new formats. The breadth and variety of podcasts are growing at an incredible rate, and I think we will see podcast listening become truly mass market in the not-too-distant future.”

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