How Spotify will Become the Google of Sound

How Spotify will Become the Google of Sound

First of all, thanks for those of you who joined me on the Linkedin Live stream Monday with your audio questions. I’ll do my best to answer them in the stream, share them here on the newsletter too...


This week on the Audio 2.0 Newsletter, I’m sharing my vision for where Spotify is heading and what that means to you as a podcaster or audio developer.

Spotify adds 60,000 new titles a day. While this is no big deal in the music industry, this creates more of a headache when we consider podcasts. The reason? There are no standards. While we found the average business podcast is 34 minutes long (see my Podcast SEO guide), they actually ranged from 3 minutes to 600 minutes!

So, for Spotify to not only stay relevant, but also compete with Apple, it has to evolve...and this evolution will come in the form of search. 

For context, look at what Spotify is researching now, in particular this Spotify post about discovery.

Here are my 3 hypotheses for Spotify:

  1. Spotify will become the Google of Sound
  2. Spotify will increasingly focus on Advertising as its revenue model
  3. Spotify will invest more in its search algorithm and distribution to partner channels (eg Clubhouse) to stay ahead of Apple, Amazon and Google 

What that means to you and me:

  1. 90% of Podcast audiences will stagnate, 10% will grow significantly 
  2. You need to focus less on directory and more on search relevance
  3. Guest sharing strategies will become less effective 

Let’s start with the news...

The big news this week was the Spotify Facebook tie up, which benefits Spotify more than Facebook, I’ll discuss later. I’ll also share insights on how Spotify works with Clubhouse, Linkedin Live etc by drawing on the old model of radio & music.


Let’s start with Spotify Facebook... When Spotify partnered with Facebook to bring an in-app podcast player to Facebook users, they were trying to fix the biggest challenge facing Audio 2.0 today...


You see, the best way to think about audio 2.0 today is a 3rd dimension of content that exists beyond most search engine crawlers and outside the realms of what’s possible with artificial intelligence. Audio content is a map of our human relationships and connections. By virtue of Audio 2.0 being authentic, it is inefficient and not indexable by traditional means.

You and I both know the most valuable interactions we have take place over a coffee - be it in person on virtually. This is where deals get done, decisions get made and people get hired. But you can’t index and search these conversations. Google tried a few years back inserting contextual ads into our Gmail but most users reported the experience creepy or Big Brother-esque.

Audio 2.0 conversations - ranging from Podcasts to Clubhouse - are a major step forward in the digital indexing of our human relationships and connections. An increasing number of conversations that matter are being stored as Audio 2.0 and therefore theoretically indexable.

What does that mean?

It means that just as Google wanted to index the world of information, so Spotify wants to index the world of conversation. Having the most authoritative index translates to the most effective advertising network. So, it’s no coincidence that Spotify is partnering with Facebook to extend its reach and, therefore, evolving into what will ultimately become the Google of Sound.

As a footnote to this story, it’s worth remembering how Google got its start in the world of search: Yahoo! That’s right, Search directory Yahoo opened the door to its arch competitor by making all its searches “powered by Google”. Not only did Yahoo inadvertently increase brand awareness to its rival in its users, it also gave Google valuable data on how people searched. Sound familiar? I’m not convinced Facebook is as clumsy as Yahoo strategically but there are similarities in history playing out…


Learn More About Audio 2.0, Clubhouse, Facebook, Spotify etc

Key takeaways from my Audio 2.0 Live Stream session this week:

  1. It’s all about Discovery
  2. Clubhouse and Podcasts will work together like Radio and Music
  3. We need to understand the difference between Air Time & Asset 

(Canva) Link to my Audio 2.0 Slides from Monday’s Live stream on Linkedin

(Youtube) Link to the Youtube video archive of the same


Season 2 of my Podcast Maps podcast dropped this week. If you want to learn more about Podcast SEO and building organic traffic, here’s a few highlights from the podcast:

  1. 1 x Podcast Episode a Month no longer works
  2. Guest Sharing no longer builds Podcast Audiences
  3. On Store is becoming critical to Podcast Success

Get all 7 episodes of Podcast Maps Season 2 here 

If you enjoy Podcast Maps and want to learn how to build your organic audience, subscribe on your favourite podcast platform

Spotify | Apple


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