Spotify considered removing white noise podcasts to boost profits by $38 million

The company says it didn't go through with the plan, but users have reported vanishing white noise content anyway


Spotify reportedly has a white noise problem to the tune of about $38 million USD.

According to a report from Bloomberg based on internal documents viewed by the publication, white noise podcasts accounted for 3 million daily consumption hours on Spotify as of January.

The white noise boom came on the back of Spotify’s algorithmic push for ‘talk’ content over music, but that came with a new set of problems. According to the document, Spotify considered removing white noise podcasts, concluding that doing so could boost the company’s annual gross profit by $38 million USD (about $51.4 million CAD).

White noise content typically includes playing certain sounds on repeat, such as static, crashing waves, or bird sounds. White noise can be calming for some and is used by many as a sleep aid.

While Spotify says it didn’t go through with the plan to remove white noise and block further uploads, the company seems to have done something about the white noise problem. Bloomberg found a Reddit thread documenting how white noise podcasts vanished for some users.

Moreover, a white noise podcaster who spoke anonymously with Bloomberg said they saw their episodes disappear from Spotify twice this year. The first disappearance lasted about three weeks and cost them, on average, 50,000 downloads per day, while the second only lasted 10 days and cost 20,000 downloads per day.

Those downloads can add up to serious money, with Bloomberg previously reporting that white noise podcasters could make at least $18,000 USD (about $24,000 CAD) a month through ads Spotify placed in the programming.

Source: Bloomberg