Summary of “Five Things Spotify Needs to Fix in 2019 – Rolling Stone”

Amid its year-end financial-results announcement, Spotify confirmed that it was set to spend between $400 million and $500 million on acquisitions throughout 2019, including the recent buyouts of podcasting content company Gimlet Media and distribution platform Anchor.
Things are looking up for Daniel Ek and his green machine – but Spotify still faces a few stark challenges.
Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy told investors on February 6th that self-serve advertising, whereby clients upload their own ads and target audiences themselves, is now “Our fastest-growing [ad] channel.” Spotify Ad Studio, the firm’s self-serve platform, is currently available to varying degrees in markets including the U.S., U.K. and Canada, ahead of an expected wider global rollout.
Analysts at MIDiA Research have predicted that 2019 will likely be the year that streaming subscription growth slows in the North America and Europe – meaning that Spotify will really need to up its game in the Middle East and North Africa region, where it launched in November.
In its forecast for 2019 – partly due to that acquisition budget of $400 million-$500 million – Spotify is projecting another annual operating loss of €200 million to €360 million.
Spotify has reportedly just paid more than $200 million to acquire New York-based podcasting production company Gimlet Media, in addition to podcasting distribution house Anchor.
If this wasn’t indication enough that Spotify is banking its future on the spoken word, Ek told investors this month that his company wants more than 20 percent of listening on Spotify dedicated to podcasts, rather than music, in years to come.
So how can Spotify use podcasts to improve its financial numbers as time wears on? Ek was asked this precise question on the Spotify Q4 earnings call.

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Summary of “Venture capital is headed for a ‘huge, rude awakening'”

Investment firm Social Capital has filed with the SEC to create an alternative to banks for companies that want to go public.
According to its CEO, Chamath Palihapitiya, the future will mean doing a lot of other things that venture capitalists don’t usually do.
“We do seed, venture, growth, equity, debt, private, public,” Palihapitiya said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher.
By “Deploy people,” he’s referring to an in-house roster of data scientists and other experts that Social Capital believes can help give its portfolio companies an edge over the competition.
Palihapitiya said venture capitalists should seek out a deep, operational understanding of their businesses, and should bring their own experiences as entrepreneurs to the table to create a codex for new businesses.
You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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