The BBC has entered a deal with Sweden-based podcast company Acast. Under this partnership, Acast will be the official partner for commercialization of BBC podcasts and audio outside of the UK. The deal is a joint initiative between the BBC World Service and BBC Radio & Education. Most shows will now have a 30-second ad at the start and at the end.
“Podcasts are one way we’re reinventing BBC radio to engage younger audiences with our world class content,” said BBC Radio and Music Director Bob Shennan. “We’re working with established and new talent to produce shows which are informative and entertaining as only the BBC can be. The BBC has been challenged to generate more commercial income to supplement the licence fee and this new deal will contribute to that.”
“Acast is dedicated to supporting a new era of on-demand content for the BBC,” Acast CEO Ross Adams said. “Our focus as a business is to enable the best content creators to do their best work by removing the technical and commercial friction from the process of making great audio. Our extensive international sales network coupled with our agile engineering resources open up the possibilities for partners like the BBC.”
“BBC World Service podcasts have become an important, and successful, part of our offer to global audiences,” added Mary Hockaday, controller of BBC World Service English. In line with many other international podcast producers we are supporting their production by adding advertising. Global audiences are well used to advertising on the BBC’s World News TV channel and on the bbc.com/news website. This exciting partnership with Acast will supplement our public funding and enable WSE to reach an increasing number of listeners around the world.”
In March, the BBC appointed Jason Phipps, who was head of audio at The Guardian, as chief of the BBC’s podcasting initiatives, with the title of Commissioning Editor for Podcasts.