Entertainment

/

ArcaMax

Executive has plan to turn Spotify into the ultimate podcast hub

Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Earlier this year, Ostroff was instrumental in landing key acquisitions, including Gimlet Media and Parcast, which have produced popular series including the thriller "Homecoming," which was made into an Amazon show starring Julia Roberts.

"This is a bold move to get in the game," said Greenfield, who is also an investor in independent podcast production company Wondery. "It signals to the entire podcast world that they are serious."

Gimlet executives believed joining Spotify would allow them to gather more data on listeners and make it easier for consumers to discover their podcasts, said Matt Lieber, Gimlet's co-founder and managing director.

Today, Gimlet is working on new productions, including investigative stories and fictional works. A 2018 podcast called "Sandra," which is about the world of digital assistants and featured Kristen Wiig's voice in the English version, will be reimagined for German, Portuguese and Spanish audiences.

Lieber said Spotify and Ostroff have given Gimlet the runway to pursue ambitious projects.

"Her message to us was very clear at that time and has remained the same -- 'I want to give you creative freedom to keep doing what you are doing (and) give you the resources to do it on a larger stage and essentially stay out of your way,'" Lieber said.

Ostroff said she's looking for content that is "really going to be loud" so it brings in the largest amount of users to sign up and spend more time listening to it.

"The amount of content that we can make is endless," Ostroff said. "Seeing how many of the existing talent in the Hollywood community and the news community are interested in migrating toward this new medium, it really makes it a lot easier."

There will be tie-ins to the music side of the business. Spotify already has podcasts that delve into music history, such as, "Stay Free: The Story of The Clash," that was released in earlier this year and explained the story behind the punk rock band. She's also talked to musical artists who have never done a podcast before.

"If you think about it, it's another way for artists to connect with their fans, but connect with them in a way that they may have not seen before," Ostroff said.

 

Ostroff scored a coup when Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground, said it would make podcasts for Spotify.

An attorney representing the Obamas approached Ostroff to chat about audio storytelling and seemed intrigued by the idea of connecting Spotify users with music and podcast creators, she said.

"I thought it was a little bit of an opening and it seemed as if there was some interest there," she said. "Our company mission really resonates with people who wind up in business with us."

These days, Ostroff is so busy she often wears a set of earphones that magnetically connect around her neck, a way for her to easily make calls or sample podcasts while she's at work or at the gym.

But sometimes Ostroff takes 15 minutes out of her morning to meditate.

"Speed is a way of life, particularly at Spotify and everywhere these days," Ostroff said. "It's always helpful to have that quiet time to have your thoughts before the rest of the world gets loud and noisy."

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus