Spotify, the Swedish music streaming service, bought Gimlet media for $ 230 million. When a popular music broadcaster offers itself a successful podcast creator, it's a whole world of narration and downloadable short formats that shudders. Podcasts creations will become a coveted universe and even more promising.
The podcast market (a portmanteau for iPod and broadcast, podcasting) is in turmoil. Gimlet Media, considered by some as the most advanced podcast creator in the industry, has been bought $ 230 million by Spotify. The sum has been confirmed by the Hot Pod specialist website. A major move in the field from the Swedish music streaming service that does not stop there. A second acquisition was made simultaneously with Anchor - a tool for podcasts - and Spotify promises other acquisitions in the year for a total envelope of 400 to 500 million dollars (including Gimlet).
" Organize, editorialize and produce podcasts "
Mathieu Gallet, on the initiative of another French "Netflix of podcasts", Majelan, reacted to the purchase by explaining: " Today the serious things begin! It was my belief, there is already a year with Majelan. I know there is a place for podcast content. It is true in the United States with its more than 70 million consumers a month, in France we speak of five million. We still lack the elements to make take off this use, a tool that allows you to discover podcasts. We will organize, editorialize and produce them. Majelan will thus be a platform and a studio, with a more flexible and easy-to-use service, in order to attract the attention of the listeners. "
" Less radio streaming, but more podcasts "
The sound arrival of Spotify upset this market. According to Dan Sacher, consultant, " Spotify has every interest in becoming a medium to get closer to its audience . He summarizes his statement as follows: " the two necessary factors in the current media space are, 1, own content and intellectual property, 2, build a technology to offer the public the data of 1. Spotify owns point 2 and Now he's working on point 1. "In addition, he adds:" We have to take into account the new uses related to connected objects, some people are betting a lot on voice assistants like Alexa who will be able to broadcast shorter podcasts. He is convinced: " The big change is the audio that will be available in the five years to come available in voice control in his car, his kitchen or his living room. We will listen less radio continuously, but more podcasts because they will be in earshot everywhere, thanks to connected objects . He concludes by emphasizing: " For Spotify this new position of producer-broadcaster makes sense. "
Even if this attraction of Spotify remains positive for future podcast offers, the fear would be to see their dissemination method disseminated because produced by different platforms, like the Netflix, Amazon, Canal + ... for the cinema that lose sometimes moviegoers. A new Californian startup, Himalaya, has raised $ 100 million in recent days, the excitement continues. For the moment Itunes remains the leader in the distribution of podcasts. This could change, but it is not certain that consumers are willing to change their subscriptions Deezer or Spotify to follow a new popular podcast.
The French podcast market remains, for its part, still very radio oriented and not very sensitive to independent productions. Mathieu Gallet remarked: " the podcast was often catching up with the radio. I saw it at Radio France . This is still the case in France where the ITunes ranking is only frequented by radio formats, with Nicolas Canteloup leading not far from Les Grosses Têtes. The podcast industry in the United States has a whole new look with investigative journalism and immersive programs such as In the Dark by American Public Media or New York Times Caliphate . This country has even seen the birth of download phenomena that can end in film production as recently Dirty John . In 2014, the Serial series marked the power of attraction of podcasts by being the most downloaded storytelling in the world.
Incarnate stories full of introspection
Podcasts represent a breeding ground of creativity, with new narratives that make fantasies now writers. The areas covered on short or long formats seem limitless and the form of expression offered, an incarnated narrative riddled with introspection, can be confusing result. The journalist Elle Marine Revol even sees podcasts dedicated to personal stories as a "new psychoanalysis", both the narrator and the listener are engaged personally. The time of The War of the Worlds told on the radio in 1938 by Orson Welles, and causing anxiety attacks in homes, is not over. Nor the power of stories entrusted to his audience, however small.