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Descript raises $30M Series B, plans to expand enterprise tools

Descript gets a cash pile of $30-million to further its audio/video production business. The plan is to expand from a consumer service targeting amateur creators, adding a new focus on enterprise tools for the internal communication needs of companies. Currently, Descript markets to independent creators, amateur, semi-pro, and professional, with smart tools that record, transcribe and edit audio and video combined. Click through for details. Continue Reading

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AdLarge Media goes with TPX for exclusive ad-rep in Canada

AdLarge Media is announcing its agreement with TPX (Toronto-based The Podcast Exchange) for exclusive representation of AdLarge’s digital audio inventory. The cabana division of AdLarge is where that inventory resides, and is mostly podcasts. This initiative represents AdLarge’s first entry into a non-U.S. market.  Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): Jack Dorsey’s Square mulls Tidal acquisition

Talk about diversifying. In the most startling rumor of a streaming music acquisition, merchant payment enabler Square is reportedly considering an acquisition of HiRez, musician-owned Tidal. This Rumor Fact(ory) is based on the usual “unnamed sources” who spoke with Bloomberg. Click through for more context on Dorsey and Tidal. Continue Reading

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Spotify signs Meghan Markle & Prince Harry in exclusive podcast production

The Spotify podcast deal-making dreadnought sails on, now signing the ex-royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to an exclusive production arrangement. The model seems to be taken from the Spotify/Obamas deal which tied a new production company, Higher Ground, to Spotify (not an equity acquisition). Likewise, Harry and Meghan have fashioned a production company called Archewell Audio. Click through for details and a trailer. Continue Reading

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Global partners with The Story Lab (Dentsu) for podcast commissioning

UK-centered media company Global has struck a partnership with The Story Lab, an offshoot of dentsu international. The arrangement is focused on podcasts, with the two entities co-commissioning a slate of six new shows over the next 12 months. The launch show is set — it is Hunting Ghislaine, investigating the elusive and controversial life of Ghislaine Maxwell. Other original productions could be in True Crime, Comedy, Entertainment, and Sports. Continue Reading

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iHeartMedia becomes exclusive rep for Pushkin Industries; co-production in the works

iHeartMedia announces today that it has accomplished a partnership with Pushkin Industries, the audio production company founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg in 2018. The alliance makes iHeartMedia the exclusive sales partner for Pushkin podcasts. Beyond the sales effort, the two companies will co-produce new shows, with a project timeline stretching over the next two years. Two of those shows are sketched out in today’s announcement. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM closes Stitcher: 150M addressable audience, new lines of reporting, Pandora gets more podcasts

SiriusXM has closed its acquisition of Stitcher, three months after the July announcement that the satellite giant would buy the pioneering podcast company. Stitcher joins Pandora as a wholly-owned Sirius company. SiriusXM also has an exclusive ad sales partnership with Soundcloud. Today’s announcement puts the combined audience at 150-million listeners, and calls that reach “the largest addressable audience in North America across all categories of digital audio – music, sports, talk, and podcasts.” Continue Reading

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Religion of Sports partners with PRX for distribution, monetization, and production

Media company Religion of Sports is affiliating with PRX to expand its podcast activity in 2021. PRX is announcing the multi-faceted collaboration today. Religion of Sports was founded by creator Gotham Chopra, six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan. To date it has mainly been known for this video content. The idea here is to push deeper into podcasting next year. Continue Reading

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Libsyn partners with Player FM for greater exposure for hosted podcasts

Podcast hosting giant Libsyn is announcing a new partnership with Player FM, a podcast listening app and discovery engine. The deal is effective immediately, and Libsyn’s clients can distribute their shows to Player FM starting now. Libsyn’s research indicates that Player FM is a top-10 3rd-party aggregation app by number of downloads. Continue Reading