Spotify buys podcast technology company Megaphone for nearly 200 million euros in its effort to stand out in a booming industry

Spotify has announced this Tuesday the purchase of the technology platform for podcast Megaphone for almost 200 million euros, in one more example of its plans to monetize this booming industry.

The acquisition will allow brands to advertise on Spotify's original and exclusive podcasts and for content creators to make more money from their audio, according to the company.

Virginia-based Megaphone, founded in 2015, is a podcast technology company that creates tools for podcasters to host their content and insert ads. It also helps brands better target their advertising spend.

Spotify has announced that it will expand its new advertising technology introduced in January — called streaming ad insertion (SAI) - to third parties for the first time, hand Megaphone. SAI allows podcast advertisers to measure ad reach, listening Frequency per user, and anonymous audience data such as age and gender, among others.

"This means that podcast creators will be able to offer advertisers more valuable audiences based on certified advertising impressions," the company explains in a statement.

Spotify has specified that the deal is still pending regulatory approval.

"We are still in the early chapters of the history of streaming audio, but it is absolutely clear that the potential is significant," explains Dawn Ostroff, Spotify's director of content and advertising.

"We expect Megaphone to join Spotify to accelerate smarter podcast monetization for advertisers and creators, thanks to a scaled audience and state-of-the-art technology," Ostroff stresses.

Spotify buys podcast technology company Megaphone

"We're excited to be joining Spotify to help advance the podcast industry, both for creators and advertisers. We believe that the shared innovation value of Megaphone and Spotify will drive the ecosystem around the world," said Brenden Monaghan, CEO of Megaphone.

Spotify has emphasized in the statement that its third quarter results showed that, on average, 22% of its users listened to a podcast in the last 3 months and that advertising revenue in these have increased almost 100% compared to last year.

Since 2008, Spotify has gained 320 million users worldwide, including 144 subscribers in 92 markets.

The audio subscription service has more than 1.9 million podcasts, such as those recorded by Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian and Joe Rogan's Rogan Experience, which will be available exclusively on the platform starting next year.

The deal between Spotify and Megaphone comes at a time when the industry is booming and advertisers are realizing the advertising potential. In November last year, a study by Edison Research and PodcastOne showed that 70% of users who listen to podcasts— 4 or 5 hours a week-considered buying a product or service after hearing about it in audio.

Spotify is considering a separate subscription service for podcasts, according to a recently published survey.

The company isn't the only one that wants to boost its podcast business through acquisitions: both Apple and Sony have held talks to buy Wondery, the world's largest independent podcast producer, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Spotify buys podcast technology company Megaphone

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The arrival of a vaccine will not end teleworking, which has "come to stay" according to the president of IBM

The good results of the vaccine against the coronavirus of Pfizer and BioNTech known this Monday, which could prevent 90% of infections according to the results notified by the pharmaceutical, will not end the work in remote, which has "come to stay" according to the executive president of IBM and former CEO of the American technological, Ginny Rometty.

The IBM executive, who this same year left the position of maximum responsibility in the North American multinational, said in statements to the American CNBC that the arrival of a vaccine against COVID-19 will not change the transit towards a "hybrid model of work" that will combine the face-to-face with remote work.

"A vaccine will perhaps allow us to regain some normality. But an important part of the steps that have been taken towards a hybrid model of work I think will continue, and digital acceleration will continue because now people have seen that it is possible," Rometty said.

"I do not think that these technological trends are going to reverse themselves," added the IBM executive, who was at the head of the company from 2012 until January of this year 2020, when she announced that she would leave her post for the arrival of Arvind Krishna, until now responsible for the cloud business division of the US company.

The widespread adoption of remote work forced by the pandemic has generated very different conclusions among the executives of the Great American tech companies: some have been very satisfied with the result of having their employees work from home, and others have been radically opposed.

Among those satisfied is the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, who has assured that some tasks in his company "work really well virtually" and even went on to predict that there will be "things that will not be as they were again" in the Apple company.

On the opposite pole has been the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, who has declared that teleworking has "nothing positive", especially because of the impossibility of holding international meetings due to the pandemic. "I don't see anything positive. Not being able to meet in person, especially at an international level, is purely negative," said the executive of one of the companies that has grown the most driven by the demand for digital content in the confines.

Nor is it happy with teleworking Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who has repeatedly expressed doubts about the negative effects on mental health and socialization of teleworking, as well as the fatigue it can generate in workers. "When you're working from home you may end up feeling like you're sleeping in the office," he complained in October.

In between is Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who believes the next step will be to evolve into "hybrid models" of work, combining office presence with remote work. "I see the future definitely more flexible, "he said in September, not without stressing that the future"will not be 100% remote."

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