Acast has struck a deal to buy the podcast database company Podchaser in a deal valued at as much as $34 million. The acquisition will give Acast, which provides podcast hosting, monetization and growth support services, a pipeline to metadata that it will be able to leverage for advertisers and podcasters, going beyond the data it says the closed, paywalled platforms can offer.
“Acast and Podchaser are true champions of the open podcast ecosystem – where all shows are available to listen to and monetized across any listening app or platform,” said Acast CEO Ross Adams. “Together we’ll unlock the vast opportunity we know exists for open podcasting and not just have parity with the data held by closed paywalled platforms but to leap forward and to surpass them. We now aim to accelerate and maximize that data for all players in the industry.”
Podchaser, which is used by listeners, podcasters, advertisers and industry professionals, tracks more than 4.5 million podcasts, hundreds of thousands of ratings and reviews, and the advertisers for the world’s top 5,000 podcasts — making up 1.7 billion data points.
“Podchaser helps solve one of podcasting’s toughest problems,” said Adams. “It’s all about boosting discoverability in podcasting. That is the ease with which listeners can find new podcasts to enjoy and advertisers can find new shows to align with.”
Ross said during an online presentation Monday that the two companies will “accelerate and maximize” data for all players in the industry. They say producers will benefit from enhanced discoverability to drive their growth and monetization goals. And advertisers will benefit from improved performance metrics, giving ad buyers access to data points covering demographics, consumption, reach and favorability.
The deal follows a move by Acast last November to integrate its listening into the Podchaser database. The move meant instead of gathering cover art, show descriptions and hosting details for these podcasts from submitted RSS feeds, Podchaser gets this information directly from the podcast hosting company.
Acast will pay $27.2 million upfront for Podchaser, with potential additional payouts during the next three years totaling $6.8 million if certain revenue targets are met. Podchaser is expected to be cash-flow positive during 2023, and after the deal closes will continue to operate as a separate brand and independent business.
“Acast is not only a strong and reliable owner, but also a platform who, like us, works with all parts of the podcasting ecosystem, making them the perfect partner on our continued journey,” said Podchaser CEO Bradley Davis. “Podchaser and Acast have a shared ethos around supercharging the open podcast ecosystem, to create the best tools possible for listeners, podcasters, and advertisers.”
Acast CFO Emily Villatte said the deal will be 85% funded by cash on hand, with the remaining balance paid in newly issued shares or warrants that will be immediately exercised into new shares phased over a period of three years. Shares of Acast stock jumped 11% during trading Monday in Stockholm, where the company is based.
The transaction is expected to be completed on Aug. 1.