According to a report from Recode, Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire Gimlet, the maker of some of the most popular podcasts currently out there. The deal is valued at over $200 million, the report says.
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Spotify has been ambitious in its podcasting efforts recently after its early efforts at original video failed. An acquisition of Gimlet would be Spotify’s first purchase of a content company, and one of the largest acquisitions in the podcasting industry.
Spotify, which has attempted to break into the video business without success, has been public about its ambitions to move into podcasting in recent months. It has started promoting podcasts to its 200 million users, and has done one-off deals for exclusive podcasts with celebrities like Amy Schumer.
It’s unclear when the deal might be announced. The two parties are said to be in “advanced talks” and Spotify will release its Q4 2018 earnings next week.
For those unfamiliar, Gimlet makes a handful of incredibly popular podcasts, including Reply All, Homecoming, and The Pitch. Homecoming started out as a scripted podcast, and eventually was adapted into a TV series by Amazon starring Julia Roberts. Currently, Gimlet podcasts are widely available on all platforms, but a Spotify acqusition might change that.
Some have been critical of Spotify’s approach to podcasts, as it creates a walled garden ecosystem. Spotify, unlike other podcasts apps – including Apple’s own – does not use public RSS standards. Instead, it requires podcasters to manually submit their shows to the platform. Nonetheless, it’s clear Spotify has big plans for its role in podcasting.
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