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Vox Media acquires Criminal Productions, doubles staff, aims for bigger portfolio

Vox Media has bought Criminal Productions, whose best-known show is Criminal, which has appeared on several “Best Of” lists. Vox plans to double the unit’s staff, expand Criminal to a weekly show, and develop new ones. All this takes place within Vox’s podcast division, Vox Media Podcast Network. Vox also takes over ad sales. Continue Reading

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Film/TV powerhouse Bad Robot enters audio with Spotify-partnered podcast unit; raids Audible for exec

Bad Robot, the film/TV firm founded and run by J.J. Abrams, whose franchises include Star Trek and Cloverfield movies, has jumped into audio with the creation of a podcast unit. Abrams pulled Christina Choi away from Audible to head the venture. The whole thing is tied up with Spotify. Continue Reading

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Audacy acquires a portion of WideOrbit for streaming audio tech

Audacy, the largest commercial radio group in the U.S. and a major podcast network, has acquired WO Streaming — the digital audio streaming technology of media tech solutions company WideOrbit. This action probably (but without confirmation at this time) explains the $45-million mystery investment announced last week by Audacy. Click through for details and history. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM invests in Audio Up, grabs a board seat, and signs strategic agreement

SiriusXM notified us of a creative and strategic agreement with podcast production house Audio Up to make podcasts and other types of audio. But there is more to this than the typical co-production deal. SiriusXM also laid $12M on Audio Up and joined the board. We asked Sirius whether an acquisition is in the wind. Continue Reading

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Slate partners with Pocket for “Stories Behind the Podcasts”

Slate has made an interesting partnership between its podcast division and Pocket, the Mozilla-built app which offers topical reading collections. Slate will put podcast-specific reading collections onto Pocket. The project is called “Stories Behind the Podcast.” We like how it crosses over media categories and broadens the podcast experience. Continue Reading

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Automattic, owner of WordPress, buys Pocket Casts from NPR, for “deep integrations”

Automattic, parent company of WordPress has acquired podcast listening app Pocket Casts from NPR and a consortium of public stations. The idea is to integrate a respected audio platform with the world’s dominant blogging platform, which already has text-to-speech capability. Lots of potential and interest here.
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Cadence13 to rep APM podcasts in new sales and content development deal

American Public Media (APM) announces this morning a sales and content development agreement with Cadence13, an Audacy company, wherein Cadence13 will exclusively represent ad sales for APM podcasts, and the two organizations will collaboratively develop new shows. Continue Reading

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Podcast listeners more receptive to audio advertising than TV advertising (MAGNA, UK)

In a UK-based consumer survey report based partly on podcasts and partly on digital audio generally, results indicate that marketing in both realms is beneficial to advertisers, and in many respects is superior to TV advertising. The research was conducted by MAGNA and funded by Spotify. Click through for details and the download link. Continue Reading