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White Noise on Spotify is worth $38 million a year

While Spotify claims white noise podcasts are safe on the platform, that could change.

Spotify spends a lot of money on podcasts that don’t actually contain any words. According to Bloomberg, the company spends up to $38 million a year on so-called white noise.

These kinds of podcasts play various relaxing sounds, like static electricity, waves, or rain, and they’re more popular than you might think. According to Bloomberg, one of the reasons for their popularity is that Spotify unwittingly promotes them to users through “algorithmic promotion of ‘conversational’ content (other than music).”

The creators of these “podcasts” make money from ads that play on their episodes. Last year, Bloomberg reported that white noise podcasters could earn at least $18,000 a month from ads placed by Spotify, and now, based on internal documents, reports that as of January 2023. white noise” was listened to on Spotify 3 million hours daily.

When Spotify noticed it was directing users to white noise podcasts, the platform reportedly considered taking these shows off the talk feed, preventing them from being downloaded in the future, and pushing users towards other types of content. However, this plan was never implemented. “The proposal in question did not materialize – white noise podcasts are still present on our platform,” a Spotify spokesperson told Bloomberg.

While Spotify claims white noise podcasts are safe on the platform, that could change. According to Bloomberg, some podcasters have noticed their episodes disappearing suspiciously from the platform.