By February, 2019 was already a huge year for Spotify. As part of its earnings announcement, the company revealed that it had finally made a profit — a benchmark that seemed somewhat unattainable given the service’s expensive operating costs.

In that same news drop, Spotify also proclaimed it was ready to become a power player in the world of podcasts. It spent big, locked down exclusive shows and introduced several new features for users. And the effort won’t end as 2019 comes to a close.

Spotify’s podcast push actually began in 2017. During a test in Germany, the company noticed a music publisher had posted audiobooks and other content on the service. Over time, it became popular, and Spotify realized it might be on to something.

“We realized that [for] people who were already in love with Spotify for music, it’s a natural evolution to offer something complimentary to music on the service,” Vice President and Global Head of Spotify Studios Courtney Holt explained. “Podcasts are just a great complimentary product.” Holt said the company realized the first step was to expand its catalog. And in 2018, it began to do just that.

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