Spotify may be in discussions to acquire Gimlet Media and its roster of beloved podcasts, including titles like Reply All and Crimetown.
Recode’s Peter Kafka reported Friday that the music streaming giant is currently courting Gimlet for a deal worth more than £153 million, citing unnamed sources. Kafka noted that the acquisition would be significant for a couple of reasons, the first being that it would be Spotify’s first foray into buying a company that makes content. But it would also be a huge deal as far as podcasts go, with another example being iHeartMedia’s acquisition of Stuff Media last year in a notably smaller £42 million deal.
Spotify declined to comment on the report. Gimlet did not immediately return a request for comment.
The reported deal does seem to track with Spotify’s long-term goals. Spotify has featured podcasts on its platform for years, but the company’s Head of Studios and Video Courtney Holt said during a panel at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year that Spotify is actively planning to expand its current podcast offerings.
“When we started the initiative, we realised a couple things,” Holt said. “One is that we’re a great audio platform, and we really wanted to focus on providing the best audio experience. We found podcasting to be a great complement to our music service.”
He added that in looking at the data, “people who consume podcasts on Spotify are consuming more of Spotify, including music.” So focusing its energies on expanding its podcasts does make sense for the music streaming service, as does an acquisition of this calibre. Kafka also noted that while Apple currently reigns supreme in this area, “Tim Cook’s company doesn’t appear to spend much time or energy on podcasts.”
For what it’s worth, Gimlet podcasts like Reply All and Crimetown are already available to stream on its platform. So if you’d rather stream those podcasts on Spotify, the good news is you don’t have to wait up for the rumoured deal. [Recode]