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Spotify has made its intentions clear: It wants to be the largest audio platform in the world—not just music, audio.

Exclusive podcast partnerships have been a significant part of that effort, and while deals with the likes of the Obamas and Joe Rogan have received most of the attention (and controversy), less celebrated but no less important are Spotify’s wooing of influencers to podcast and to do so using Spotify’s tools and distribution.

“In order for us to continue our growth and our trajectory, we knew we wanted to broaden out what being an audio network really means,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, at Fast Company’s 6th annual Innovation Festival. “And podcasting, which is the fastest growing medium right now particularly among young people, was the natural next step.”

Over the past several months, Spotify has struck deals with influencers, including Rickey Thompson, Denzel Dion, Addison Rae, and

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