In my last Spotify year in review, I was 24,000 minutes. I am now listening to the podcasts at twice the speed, so I get a lot more content. (laughs) And on top of that, I hear a lot of podcast episodes even before they’re released. So the number is probably only half the story.
But it shows quite well the podcast boom that has also increased in Germany in recent years. How do you explain this development?
On the one hand, it is due to the content, which is becoming more and more professional and therefore better. On the other hand, developments from the USA spill over to us – just think of “Serial”, the first podcast blockbuster that was downloaded over 300 million times worldwide. That has drawn a whole new level of attention to this topic, from which the German market also benefits. You can also recognize this from the fact that there are now 50,000 German-language podcasts with a wide range. Ultimately, podcasts can be so many things, a sideline medium, but also a medium for targeted listening, as is the case with fictional or documentary formats.
If there are already so many offers, the inevitable question is how much space is there for new things.
In every genre there is still a lot of potential to stand out with good storytelling. This can be seen almost every day on our trending charts, in which many new formats stand out. The medium of podcasts is by no means exhausted, we are only just scratching the surface.
Can you make good money with it?
The number of podcast listeners on Spotify is increasing continuously, in the fourth quarter of 2020 25 percent of our listeners had already streamed podcasts.
What are you specifically planning in Germany in the podcast area?
In the next few weeks we will be launching twelve original podcasts on Spotify. This includes new seasons of “Jokes with Till Reiners” and “Talk-O-Mat”, but also completely new formats. It is difficult for me to highlight a single one, but I am particularly proud that we are working with a German publisher for the first time. With the editors of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” we are planning six episodes of “Terror am OEZ – Five Years After the Attack in Munich”, a documentary format about a new kind of right-wing extremist terror in Germany, presented by Nabila Abdel Aziz. And from March 1st, Antonia Franz, Tami Holderried, Julia Ongverth and Magdalena Pulz will be looking at the headlines from ten years ago in “On This Day”.
The se are short episodes that will also appear in the personalized “Daily Drive” playlist. In addition, another format is planned with the “SZ”.
Especially with knowledge formats, the visual level is hardly needed anymore.
The start of “On this day“is remarkable, because the public service WDR has to save on its historical formats” Zeitzeichen “and” Stichtag “. What does that say about the situation on the German market?
For us, it is primarily important to invest in daily formats because we see this as a great strength of our offer. This also goes with “FOMO – What did I miss today?”, Our first weekday news format, which we will start on March 15th. It covers topics from gossip to politics.
Sounds like you’re competing with classic radio more than ever.
It’s a new path for us, but we believe that with our starting position as an audio entertainment platform, we have the best chances of getting listeners enthusiastic about us with podcasts and music of all kinds.
What else is planned?
We are doing a podcast about her wedding with Laura Larsson, who our users already know from “Herrengedeck”. In “For the First Time Forever” she takes us into the crazy world of wedding preparations. This is a loving and very personal format, but by no means a spin-off of your other format. In addition, in May we are starting a new format developed and co-produced by Tommi Schmitt called “Podcasts –
An unusual title …
The name must have made us laugh again and again for three days. (laughs) In the original, the most popular German-language podcasts by Marti Fischer, Katjana Gerz, Nagmeh Held, Charlotte Hübsch, Sara Kelly-Husain, Christian Schiffer, Tommi Schmitt, Maximilian Schmitt and Jan van Weyde are lovingly satirized. Ultimately, we would like to pay tribute to how important podcasts have become for pop culture, because it’s amazing how much you can fall in love with podcasts, but also with individual voices.
That sounds like “Switch reloaded” for podcasts and at the same time shows how many stars of the scene there are now. Which other well-known names have you committed?
The Aurel Update”. In addition to the regular episodes, we will publish a five-minute excerpt of the current episode in the Daily Drive playlist for the first time. And on March 17th, “Generally educated” with Ralph Ruthe will follow. His cartoons have been with me personally for many years. I am therefore very happy that we were able to win him over to a format that is about political education in the broadest sense. With the political expert Sally Lisa Starken, who is a good friend of Ralph Ruthe, he talks about terms from everyday politics. What is special for us is that we try our hand at educational formats. With “Wissen diesdas” and “Wild Germany”, a format with Manuel Possible that is based on an earlier ZDFneo program, we are already planning further formats in this area. We ask ourselves how one can learn in a pleasant way.
Not so easy to do something to explainwithout having a visual layer right?
The fact that there is no camera creates an intimacy that can even be an advantage when communicating knowledge via audio.
Ms. Krause-Jentsch, thank you for talking to us.