Podcast hosting and ad-tech company Art19 announces today that it has formalized a relationship with Feral Audio, a comedy podcast network that is enjoying a startling success story. Feral Audio’s entire catalog of 50 shows is on the Art19 platform for hosting, distribution, analytics, and ad serving.
The announcement is another step forward after Art19’s emergence from beta in August. Since then the company has hired EVP of Content Roddy Swearngin, and scooped up The New York Times as a content partner.
The partnership with Feral Audio is a good addition to Art19’s platform, and also throws light on an eye-opening podcast success. RAIN News spoke with Feral CEO Jason Smith, who described a business venture that started as hobby, producing funny podcasts that had no monetization effort behind them. Last year the network served one-million downloads a month (an enviable number to most producers), which has grown to 12.5-million now. An important contributor to that success is the My Favorite Murder podcast, a riotous discussion of juicy homicides gleefully hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. (Hardstark also co-hosts Feral program Slumber Party.)
“Watching Feral’s extraordinary growth this year has been a lot of fun,” said Sean Carr, CEO of ART19. “They’re creating a lot of great content, and we’re delighted that our tools are helping them monetize and expand. That is exactly our reason for existing.”
Hearing Jason Smith relate Feral Audio’s history sounds like a recipe for accidental success, brewed by an unexpected hit show and fortuitous timing. Before Art19, Feral was hosted on a homemade platform that crashed down for a month, immediately after Feral Audio moved to Art19.
Monetization is the first item Smith mentioned when reciting the reasons he chose Art19. The Art19 technology platform includes a branded audience-targeting and ad-serving system called WarpFeed. Smith says that Feral Audio didn’t monetize at all for five years before joining Art19. He also spoke highly of Art19’s analytic system, saying it produces metrics he can trust, calling them “actual” numbers that he can trust.
The two companies are not disclosing revenue metrics at this time, noting that the monetization effort started in June.