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The focus is on Spotify’s diversification in the podcasting industry. Use the “tests” from the reading this week to evaluate this move. The overall question is: Was this a good move for Spotify? Explain why or why not. To develop this answer, your memo should address the following three questions as well:
What part(s) of the Podcast Ecosystem is Spotify diversifying into through its acquisitions of Gimlet Media, Anchor and more recently The Ringer? Think carefully about what Spotify is doing and refer to the Gimlet case. Look at the Harvard case where it talks about the Podcast Ecosystem.
Use key forces from the Five Forces to evaluate the new industry. (Hint: This means you do NOT have to do all 5 forces, select which ones you think make most sense here.)
Does Spotify’s diversification move pass the Better-Off Test? Explain.
Case is in Harvard Business School packet: Gimlet Media: A Podcasting Start-up, HBS 9-918-412 – the focus is on Spotify’s diversification into the podcasting industry and not so much Gimlet Media specifically, so read the case, but you can skim pg 8-10.
Reading Sources:
Gimlet Media case in the HBSP packet is the core case.
Everybody makes podcasts can anyone make them profitable – Bloomberg Businessweek(attached)
IAB Podcast Industry Ad Revenue Study (attached)
From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy
Note: Spotify acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor for $340M in February 2019. And Spotify has continued to acquire more companies in this space. Here is a sample of articles on these acquisitions. This is optional reading.
Spotify Strikes Podcast Deal With Joe Rogan Worth More Than $100 Million – WSJ (attached)
Spotify Agrees to Buy Ringer and Reports Growth in Users – WSJ (attached)
Analysis must be no longer than 2 pages of text (12 point font, single-spaced, 1-inch margins). You may also include one exhibit (tables, graphs, etc.—no paragraphs of text)
Your grade is based upon the quality of your responses and supporting arguments, which must integrate the relevant course concepts, as well as the ability to communicate your ideas.
Your argument should be logical and supported by facts from the case or facts you research on your own.
Do not provide definitions of concepts in your case analyses, rather apply the concepts to the case facts.
Do not present a summary of the case, instead offer a well-supported evaluation using case information and incorporating concepts from the readings.
Your case analysis must be well organized and structured as one continuous document. If there are multiple questions do NOT divide your memo into different sections to answer each question separately.
A well-organized analysis starts with starts with an introductory paragraph which is followed by several additional paragraphs that expand on the information presented in the introduction.
Each subsequent paragraph has a main sentence followed by several sentences that present information that supports the main sentence. This information can come from the case readings or your own research or experience.
Avoid putting many different ideas into one sentence or paragraph. Develop each point separately.
Well-organized memos structure paragraphs so that the strongest arguments are first, followed by progressively weaker arguments.
You can address the memo to whomever you want. Assume that the reader is familiar with the case and has read the assigned case materials.
These are individual assignments. Feel free to do your own outside research and incorporate information from that research into your analysis.
If you want to use parts of someone else’s work in your memo, put it in quotes and add a citation.
Use a formal citation style (any formal style you want). A website link is not a citation.

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