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How Obama, Prince Harry podcasts raked in profits for Spotify

Michelle and Barack Obama, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exclusive podcasts that aired on Spotify greatly contributed to the giant music streaming record-breaking profits announced for this quarter.

Spotify announced a gross profit of over 3.6 million Euros (Sh513 billion) after a year of cutting costs and laying off 1,500 staff.

In a statement, Spotify’s Chief Executive Daniel EK announced much of its profits were driven by its podcast business with the gross margins rising to 27.6% in the quarter up from 25%.2 a year earlier.

Part of the podcast’s success was driven by exclusive content such as securing exclusive content from popular couples of former US president Obama and his wife as well as United Kingdom’s Prince Harry and his wife Megan.

The deal with Harry and Meghan cost a reported 25 million US dollars (about Sh3 billion) and saw just 12 episodes delivered over two and a half years before the deal ended in June 2024.

“Podcast was a drag last year now is another profit centre for us. We are going to add back some marketing spend over the year because we want to keep on having the growth,” EK stated during the announcement of the company’s quarter report.

Spotify noted it had invested over a billion euros to build up its podcast business and the results have begun showing.

In October 2022, Spotify launched a Sh12 million podcast funding programme aimed at supporting podcasters in Africa.

From the program Africa Podcast Fund, four Kenyan podcasts Mantalk, The Messy InBetween, The Sandwich, and Nipe Story were among the 13 podcasts in Africa that were selected to benefit from the kitty.

In its selection criteria, Spotify noted it offered the funds to African countries where it had noted the biggest listenership that being South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Cameroon.

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