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Tech Digest Series: Spotify’s New Era of Monetisation and Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Week on week we see the evolution of social platforms to improve the experience for both users and creators. Latest updates from the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Spotify further show us how the platforms can be utilised for business.

Spotify introduces new era of monetisation for podcast creators

In October 2018, Spotify opened podcasting for all of its users. By the end of that year, podcast listening grew on Spotify by 175%. With an increasing amount of creators bringing their podcasts to Spotify, the app now attracts 345 million monthly listeners, which creates a huge opportunity for these creators to monetise their work. 

Spotify is rolling out a number of options that will allow podcast creators to monetise their shows at different tiers, in order to make meaningful revenue that they have some control over. Launched in the US this week, and soon set to roll out internationally is a new paid subscription platform for creators. This new feature will be available to creators through Anchor, and will allow podcasters to mark episodes as ‘subscriber-only’. 

Spotify’s aim here is to help podcasters maximise their subscription audiences, encouraging returning listeners. Until 2023, when creators will have to begin giving 5% of their revenue to access the tool, the programme will be free for creators, meaning that they will receive 100% of their subscriber revenues.

Also among the changes that Spotify is making is the introduction of its Audience Network, a first-of-its-kind audio advertising marketplace. Advertisers of all sizes will be able to connect with listeners who consume a varied range of content. Starting on the 1st of May, Spotify will grant access to the marketplace for a select group of independent creators using Anchor.

Instagram to create marketplace for influencers

The next step for creator monetisation on Instagram is the creation of a marketplace that enables brands to connect with influencers they may want to pay to promote their products. In an Instagram Live stream on Tuesday, head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri said, “Branded content is the economic engine behind the creator ecosystem,” he added, “Matchmaking is something we can add a lot of value for.”

Full details of how the creator marketplace will work have yet to be revealed, but we know that since the beginning of the pandemic, Instagram has been prioritising introducing new ways for users to earn income from the app. People are turning to the app as an alternative to in-person entertainment and business.

Although Instagram has previously avoided getting involved in brand/creator partnerships, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, realised that social commerce is the future. Instagram has the capability to make partnerships between creators and brands more seamless, so they are working on doing just that. 

As these new features on both Spotify and Instagram develop further, and we see more brands and creators utilising them, it will be interesting to watch the way social careers continue to escalate.

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