Dealmaking in the podcasting field is continuing, as companies eyeing rising advertising revenues race for content.
Entercom Communications Corp., the second-largest radio broadcaster by revenue, announced Aug. 7 its acquisition of two leading podcast companies: the remainder of Cadence13 it doesn’t already own, and Pineapple Street Media. They will become divisions of Entercom’s Radio.com, its free Internet radio platform.
Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, pegged the Pineapple purchase at $18 million, and valued Cadence13 at almost $50 million. Entercom, owner of New York’s WCBS and Los Angeles’s KROQ, paid $9.7 million for a 45% stake in Cadence13 in 2017.
Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media produce a number of top-rated shows. Cadence13’s slate includes “Gangster Capitalism,” “To Live and Die in LA,” Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” and “Crimetown Presents: The Ballad of Billy Balls.”
Pineapple Street Media’s co-production with Gimlet Media, “The Clearing,” is currently ranked No. 5 on Apple’s Top Charts after debuting at No. 1. The studio also holds a number of content partnerships with top brands, including HBO, Netflix, Coach, MailChimp and The Wing.
- The deal makes Entercom the third-largest U.S. podcast publisher behind NPR and iHeartMedia. Prior to this, the broadcaster had next-to-no podcast footprint.
- Episodes of shows produced by Entercom, Pineapple Street Media and Cadence13 were downloaded over 150 million times per month in the second quarter of 2019, Entercom said in a press release.
- The purchases give the radio broadcaster access to an advertiser-friendly medium. Podcast advertising are projected to top $1 billion by 2021, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
- Entercom’s purchases are the latest in a wave of consolidation among the podcast industry, including Spotify’s acquisitions of Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast, and iHeartMedia’s 2018 purchase of Stuff Media.
- Karma Take: Acquisitions and consolidations are on the horizon as podcasting leaves its amateur-drive roots becomes more corporate and profitable. Independent creators not affiliated with a larger company may find themselves lost in the shuffle.