The launch of Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped personalized experience on December 1st, 2020 marks the latest strategic play by Spotify to become number one in the podcast streaming world. “Wrapped” is Spotify’s popular year-end review of their users’ favorite artists, songs, genres and podcasts.
This year however, Spotify has implemented a few new features that underscore their ongoing mission to secure the top spot in the podcast streaming space. Spotify 2020 Wrapped offers users a deeper look into their podcast listening habits, and gives podcast creators deeper insight into their streaming data. It also includes several new features, like in-app quizzes, new Wrapped badges, personalized playlists, and customization options for social sharing.
The 2020 Wrapped upgraded offerings are just the latest move by Spotify to revolutionize the world of podcasting. Several years ago, the podcast streaming platform landscape looked pretty different than it does today. Apple Podcasts was the go-to choice of iPhone users, and various other podcast apps such as Overcast and Pocket Cast were popular amongst the rest of the podcast-listening population.
However, ever since Spotify decided to make podcasting a major part of their audio strategy, it has changed the podcast streaming landscape in a major way. In a blog post published in February 2019, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stated: “What I didn’t know when we launched to consumers in 2008 was that audio — not just music — would be the future of Spotify.”
Last year, Spotify made its big podcasting ambitions known when they threw down an estimated $400M investment into three key acquisitions: Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor. They went on to snatch up The Ringer — Bill Simmons’s sports and entertainment media-factory — for $200 million in February of this year.
As the year has progressed, we’ve seen Spotify go all-in on their mission to become the juggernaut of the podcast streaming world. They’ve implemented countless new features and strategies like user-friendly features, new technologies, exclusive deals, all of which have furthered the Spotify agenda.
There is no doubt that Spotify sees a massive business opportunity in the future of podcasts. Apple — which had been the fairly undisputed leader in podcast streaming prior to 2019 — had set a precedent that allowed listeners come and go free of charge. They had given creators of all sizes the ability to upload and control ownership of their RSS feeds. Apple hadn’t show interest in producing their own docket of shows, and they also hadn’t tried to sell ads (although this would be difficult for Apple, given their stance on data privacy).
Spotify’s leadership in podcast streaming was underscored by Spotify 2020 Wrapped, which features podcast listening data for the first time ever. With individualized year-end data packaged into a shareable social media story format, 2020 Wrapped gives both podcast listeners and creators around the world an easy way to share the podcast love.
Spotify Wrapped not only provides podcast listeners with the ability to share their favorite shows with their social media followers, it also gives podcast creators unprecedented access to their listening statistics. With data from their show packaged into a social media story format, podcast creators can easily celebrate their success and share key performance indicators from their show with their entire network.
Spotify describes Wrapped for podcasters as: “A personalized look at your podcast’s year on Spotify, [It] celebrates the gains you made compared to last year, where in the world your fanbase grew the most, top-performing episodes, and much more.”
Podcasters can find their Wrapped information by visiting the Spotify for Podcasters dashboard. All podcasters with shows on Spotify should have also received a link to their information in an email directly from Spotify. Spotify podcast listeners can head to the Playlist section of their Spotify account for their personalized #2020Wrapped playlist.
Spotify has seized their massive opportunity to dominate the podcasting space. If Apple eventually decides to engage in some friendly competition with Spotify, their number-one competitor already has a huge head start. Spotify has done a wildly impressive job in 2020 of positioning themselves as the new visionaries and leaders of the future of podcasting.
Predictions for 2021:
Given the rapidly-evolving landscape of podcast streaming platforms, podcast creators will want to make a point in 2021 to keep up with the latest podcast industry news. This will allow podcasters to take advantage of new features that can help to grow their show, like those included in the Spotify 2020 Wrapped offering.
As podcasts continue to grow, they will attract more advertising dollars and customer attention. This means it’s likely for other big names like Google to invest in new podcast-related ventures that will allow them to get a piece of the podcast industry pie. Because of this, podcasters should plan to periodically check in with their hosting provider to make sure that their podcast is available for downloads and streaming on all available platforms. It would be wise to keep an eye on new major players entering the market, like Amazon’s late-yet-significant entry to the podcasting space in September 2020.
Our final recommendation: pay close attention to everything Spotify does, starting now. Knowledge is power — and keeping up with Spotify’s rapid innovations is a strategic way to maximize your success in the podcast industry. It has become abundantly clear that Spotify has a BIG vision for the future of audio — and they’ve got the money and power to bring their dreams to life.