Issue 207,  published April 30, 2019

Spotify paid ~$56 million for Parcast

Spotify paid ~$56 million for Parcast, according to the company’s Q1 2019 earnings report. This is quite a bit lower than the “more than $100 million” sum reported by the Financial Times back when the news first broke in March. As VentureBeat pointed out, this brings Spotify’s overall podcast acquisition spending up to $400 million, theoretically leaving $100 million left in Spotify’s stated $500 million podcast spending budget — which means that Spotify may well make another acquisition in the months to come. Then again, just because I set aside so and so aside for my vacation budget, it doesn’t mean I have to spend all of it at the beach…

I found this chunk of the New York Times’ write-up on the earnings report noteworthy: “It may take time for podcasts to have the desired effect on Spotify’s bottom line… [CFO Barry] McCarthy said Spotify’s investments in podcasts had created ‘a great deal of downward pressure on margins, at least initially as we built out the business.’”

Anyway, the Parcast angle isn’t the biggest news hook for Spotify’s Q1. Rather, it’s the fact Spotify has officially reached 100 million global paid users, a major milestone for both the company and streaming music platforms more generally.