Spotify and iHeartMedia have been splurging on audio companies. Here are 5 podcast firms that could be acquired next and who could buy them.

Daniel Ek Spotify

Summary List Placement

Media companies are chasing the podcasting market.

Spotify has been snapping up podcasts while reports swirl about Apple and Sony eyeing podcast content company Wondery, the podcast giant behind shows like “Dirty John.”

And with the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimating the podcast ad market will hit $1 billion this year, others are looking at companies to help boost their podcast advertising. These include firms that plug ads into podcasts and make original content that they can sell to media companies and advertisers.

Podcasting has reached a critical mass with listeners, and the advertising is starting to catch up, said Jonathan Keith, founder and CEO of creative agency Feelr Media, which makes branded podcasts for brands like Microsoft. “With dynamic ad insertion and programmatic, they’re going to have real metrics and it’s been a very hot area.”

Spotify in particular has been an aggressive acquirer, just agreeing to buy podcast advertising firm Megaphone for $235 million, and Joe Rogan’s popular podcast. Spotify also owns Gimlet Media and Anchor. IHeartMedia recently entered an agreement to buy Voxnest, a podcast analytics and programmatic advertising firm, and satellite radio company SiriusXM bought podcast company Stitcher for $325 million in July.

Nick Quah, who writes podcast email newsletter Hot Pod and critiques podcasts for New York Magazine, said that it will be hard for any company to beat Spotify’s podcast acquisition spree.

But Apple, Google, and Amazon are also likely podcast acquirers because they’re betting on making audio content more mainstream and baking podcasts straight into smart speakers and devices, said Eric Franchi, operating partner of MathCapital, a venture capital fund that invests in advertising and marketing companies.

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Business Insider spoke with a handful of experts about what other podcast companies could be hot acquisitions, and they listed five. (To be clear, they did not suggest any are actually in talks.)


Total funding: $2 million

What it does: 5-year-old Headgum helps creators and publishers monetize podcast shows. The company’s network of shows includes “Gilmore Guys,” “Dead Eyes,” and Nicole Byer’s “Why Won’t You Date Me?” Headgum also runs a production arm that makes original podcasts.

Headgum wants to change how podcast ads are bought and sold and could be interesting to a media company looking to rev up podcast ad sales.

Last year, the company launched a marketplace called Gumball to help advertisers like Casper and HelloFresh discover lesser-known shows and work directly with podcast talent. Creators use the platform to book sponsorships and get paid faster than working through a middleman sales firm.

Headgum raised its first round of funding in July of $2 million led by Union Square Ventures.

A spokesperson for Headgum did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Magellan AI

Total funding: Not disclosed

What it does: Magellan AI sells software that tracks if podcast ads, which are often read out loud by hosts to fit into content, actually run. The firm also works with podcast publishers like Barstool Sports, The New York Times, and WNYC to provide software that media companies use to estimate ad spending on podcast …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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