Spotify has created a team to develop original audio programming for the growing U.S. Latino podcast audience.
The Swedish music streaming company, which over the last two years has made a sizeable investment into non-music audio formats like podcasting, will work with Latinx creators to produce both English- and Spanish-language programming.
Javier Piñol, who for the last two years has served as head of studios for Spotify in Latin America, will lead the group.
“As we continue to grow we want to make sure we’re developing content that is relevant to our audiences. Our mission is to bring the U.S. Latinx consumer the streaming access they want and need, all in one place,” said Courtney Holt, global head of studios and video for Spotify.
Latinos represent 18 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 60 million people, and they are listening to podcasts more than ever before. A quarter of Latinos age 18 and up in the U.S. have listened to a podcast in the last month, according to an Edison Research report published June 30. The report also found that the majority of Latinos started listening to podcasts within the last year.
As a global platform, Spotify has invested in podcasts for Latin American markets, including Fausto and Se Regalan Dudas in Mexico and Café da Manhã in Brazil. Earlier this year, reggaeton artist J Balvin released the original podcast Made in Medellín, promoting the six-episode series during his Super Bowl halftime performance alongside Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
“We have seen our podcast content consumption grow in Latin America, and now, we’re focusing on giving the U.S. Latin market well deserved attention as the best destination to consume relevant Latin podcasts,” added Holt. Spotify is already in business with digital creator and singer Lele Pons, who is developing a podcast for its platform.
Spotify reaches 286 million monthly users in 79 countries. The company has 130 million subscribers to its ad-free service. In addition to expanding its podcast programing in the U.S., the company is also beginning to bring local versions of its originals to other markets, per a Reuters report. It is starting with scripted series Sandra, which will get adaptations in countries including France and Mexico.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.