Acast, the Swedish technology company that helps businesses and individuals publish and monetize podcasts, has announced plans to acquire podcast database Podchaser.
The deal initially values Podchaser at $27.2 million, although this could increase by an additional $6.8 million if Podchaser meets certain “performance conditions”.
Founded in Stockholm in 2014, Acast is a leading brand in podcast technology, serving as a hosting and distribution platform for outlets such as The Guardian and The Economist to publish their podcasts on virtually any app, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Acast also allows podcasters to dynamically insert advertisements into their shows.
The company has raised some $126 million in its eight-year run, while it has at least two previous acquisitions to its name, including RadioPublic which it bought last year.
Podchaser, for its part, was founded in Oklahoma in 2016 and closed a $4 million Series A funding round last year. Podchaser is like an IMDb for podcasts, allowing users to search for anything podcast-related, including reading and posting reviews and filtering by category.
A billion dollar industry
Podcasting is expected to become a $4 billion industry by 2024 in the United States alone, according to a recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which is almost triple the ad revenue it generated last year. These numbers are important to assess why Acast is buying Podchaser.
While Podchaser will continue to be a separate brand and company once the acquisition closes, Acast said it plans “deep integration” of Podchaser data, providing customers with “authoritative structured metadata.” Indeed, although Podchaser is a consumer-oriented platform in terms of ease of discovery, it is also a utility for advertisers and marketers, as it allows them to find the most popular podcasts. suitable for selling their products. Targeted advertising will play an important role in the fast-growing podcasting industry, and that’s part of why Acast is taking Podchaser under its wing – Podchaser provides additional data points covering demographics, consumption, reach and ” favourability”.
Acast is also quickly positioning itself as a champion of open podcasting, unlike some of the other giants in the podcasting world such as Spotify, a company that continues to invest heavily in the podcasting medium. While Spotify and its ilk create what many consider to be walled-in podcasting gardens filled with exclusive shows and minimal data insights, Acast touts its platform-independent ethos — a philosophy that gives advertisers insight depth of activities across the podcasting spectrum.
“Together, we will unlock the vast opportunity we know exists for open podcasting, not just to have parity with data held by closed, paid platforms, but to leapfrog and surpass them” , Acast CEO Ross Adams said in a press release.