What happened

Shares of Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) have popped today, up by 11% as of 12:55 p.m. EST, after the company kicked off its "2020 Wrapped" personalized experience for users, while highlighting major milestones from the year, including its ambitious expansion into podcasts. Spotify also unveiled a slew of new features yesterday as part of the annual event.

So what

The music-streaming technology company introduced in-app quizzes, premium badges for certain power users, new personalized playlists, social media stories format, and more. On the podcast front, Spotify said that podcast creators will get deeper insight into audiences and episode performance. The company is expanding its top podcast charts to provide greater discovery opportunities to podcasters, while providing new tools to reach more listeners.

The Michelle Obama Podcast playing on smartphones.

Image source: Spotify.

The Verge also notes that Spotify disclosed that Anchor helped create a whopping 80% of all new podcasts on the platform in 2020. There are now over 1.9 million podcasts on Spotify. Anchor is the podcast-creation software start-up that Spotify acquired in early 2019 for 136  million euros (approximately $150 million based on exchange rates at the time) along  with Gimlet, another podcast-related purchase.

Now what

The new data show how well the Anchor acquisition has paid off in the nearly two years since. Spotify overtook longtime podcast leader Apple in the second quarter, according to recent estimates from MIDiA Research. Spotify is betting big that exclusive content can differentiate itself from the Mac maker. The company shared that The Joe Rogan Experience and The Michelle Obama Podcast, two of Spotify's most prominent exclusives, were among the top five most popular podcasts globally this year. It looks like the bet is already starting to pay off.