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Spotify’s latest acquisition is about making money off radio shows turned into podcasts

The company buys Whooshkaa

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify continues to beef up its audio product arsenal. Today, it announced the acquisition of Whooshkaa, a nearly six-year-old Australian company focused on helping radio broadcasters monetize, edit, and distribute their shows as podcasts. Spotify says some radio broadcasters, like the Australian Radio Network, already rely on its podcast hosting platform Megaphone, and this Whooshkaa radio technology will be integrated into it. The selling price was not disclosed.

Radio networks will be able to prepare shows for publishing by capturing live broadcasts and using the Whooshkaa tech to edit and remove ads to make room for podcast-only spots. From there, Megaphone can host the shows, and Spotify can help the shows monetize by encouraging them to take advantage of the Spotify Ad Network, thereby allowing Spotify to insert ads dynamically based on the audience these programs reach.

The acquisition makes sense for Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s vision of audio’s future. Earlier this year, he told The Verge traditional radio was dying. “If you think over the next 10 years for certain, what’s now radio is going to collapse and move from a linear space to an on-demand space,” he said. “That’s where I think we’re in this race to try to get as many people as possible to convert into streaming on demand and hopefully choose Spotify as their preferred platform.”

If that reality plays out, Spotify could be in a place to take a heavier hand in all aspects of that transition, but most notably, selling the ads for those broadcast shows. Other companies, namely in the radio space, are also investing in similar technology. Earlier this year, iHeartMedia acquired Triton Digital, including Omny Studio, which also offers both live broadcast to on-demand technology, hosting, and monetization options.