Swedish streaming service Spotify is delving deeper into podcasts, launching a subscription service Tuesday that makes it easier to produce and upload audio programs onto its platform.
The subscription service, called Soundtrap for Storytellers, is run by Soundtrap, a company Spotify purchased for an undisclosed amount in 2017. The service aims to incorporate many elements of podcast production and editing into one place and allow people to directly upload their podcasts onto Spotify.
In an effort to attract more customers to its platform, Spotify has been expanding its presence in podcasts, with plans to spend as much as $500 million this year on acquisitions in the space, which include New York-based businesses Gimlet Media and Anchor FM Inc. as well as L.A.-based podcast production firm Parcast.
Spotify has more than 250,000 podcast titles on its platform. Services like Soundtrap for Storytellers could help increase the volume of podcasts on Spotify and generate additional revenue with month-to-month subscriptions starting at $14.99.
“Part of Spotify’s mission is to grow the number of creators able to build podcasts worldwide,” Charlie Hellman, head of Spotify’s Creator Marketplace, said in a statement. “Soundtrap for Storytellers gives podcast creators incredible editing capabilities, collaboration in real-time, and the ability to publish their podcast to Spotify.”
Soundtrap co-founder Per Emanuelsson cited a survey that showed only 7% of internet-connected U.S. citizens between the ages of 15 to 45 had tried to record a podcast in the last 12 months. He believes Soundtrap for Storytellers will help democratize that process by making it easier.
“If you lower the bar, more people will do it,” Emanuelsson said in an interview.
Today, some podcasters use multiple programs to get their jobs done. For example, they might edit their programs on one set of software but record calls outside the studio on another app. Soundtrap for Storytellers allows podcasters to record calls directly into the software, where guests can receive a link to connect them to the call.
The service also transcribes English-language recordings, letting users highlight words and see where that part of the conversation took place in the audio. Similar to Google Docs, more than one person can access the program on the service in real time. Users can also search through the service’s sound effects library to add music and sounds to their podcasts.
Users within the service can upload their programs directly to Spotify and have the option to export files to upload to other platforms.
Soundtrap also offers music creation software that it sells as a subscription service. The company declined to say how many subscribers it has.