Spotify Shares Hit All-Time High as Investors Enthuse Over New Engagement Features, Podcast Momentum

Spotify’s stock jumped 12.6% Wednesday — closing at an all-time high price of $320.89 per share — as investors evidently rallied around new features the audio-streaming platform introduced and data signaling its podcast push is gathering steam.

The surge pushed Spotify’s market capitalization to $60.8 billion, with the stock more than doubling in value since the start of 2020.

On Wednesday, Spotify unveiled its annual Wrapped personalized experience for listeners worldwide. The 2020 iteration includes features designed to boost engagement including in-app quizzes; the ability to follow your top song’s journey through the year with Story of Your 2020; and new personalized playlists, including Your Top Songs and Missed Hits.

The year-end Wrapped event is designed to ratchet up listening across Spotify’s global user base, which totaled 144 million paying subscribers (up 27% year over year) and 320 million (up 29%) at the end of the third quarter 2020.

New this year, Spotify opened up Wrapped to non-Spotify users, who have access to the company’s global listening trends via spotify.com/wrapped. The company also rolled out its Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists, giving them their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience to explore the ways in which their fans listened to their content this year.

And Spotify said self-publishing podcast platform Anchor, which the company acquired last year, was used to create 80% of the new podcasts added to Spotify in 2020 — meaning Anchor contributed more than 1 million new titles for the year. Of Spotify’s total catalog of 1.9 million podcasts, Anchor powers 70% of those, indicating that Anchor picked up momentum during 2020.

In addition, Spotify introduced new metrics showing how users listened to podcasts, including how many minutes were spent listening and the most binge-worthy podcasts of the year. The company has revamped its podcast charts so that listeners can see the top 200 shows overall, the top 50 in over a dozen categories, and the top 50 trending podcasts daily. Podcast creators also will get daily notifications and share cards in Spotify for Podcasters when their show hits the charts.

Spotify has shelled out more than $800 million over the last two years on podcast content and technology deals. Last month, it acquired podcast publishing and advertising company Megaphone for $235 million in cash. Earlier this year, Spotify bought Bill Simmons’ The Ringer podcast and media startup in a deal worth up to nearly $200 million.

In 2019, the company acquired podcast studios Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast, paying nearly $400 million for them, with additional potential payouts over four years, according to regulatory filings.

Meanwhile, Spotify in October introduced a new show format that allows creators to combine spoken-word talk segments with music from Spotify’s catalog of 65 million licensed songs, using the Anchor platform. And Spotify this summer rolled out launched dozens of podcast playlists in the U.S., Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Mexico and Brazil.

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