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A-list actors drawn into new Audible/Treefort Media content alliance

Audio giant Audible is sending around notice of a development and production deal with audio storytelling company Treefort Media, to produce original scripted audio series. Described as a “first-look development and production deal,” three shows are starting production now, each one featuring known film actors. To our eyes, they appear primed for video/TV crossover. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM acquires 99% Invisible Inc.

Emulating Spotify and The New York Times, and furthering an ongoing era of podcast consolidation, SiriusXM has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the owner of the venerable 99% Invisible podcast and its spinoffs. The podcast was launched by host Roman Mars in 2010, which could be considered the Middle Ages of podcasting — an era between the rosy founding days of a new media category and the modern resurgence which started with NPR’s Serial in 2014. Click for details. Continue Reading

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Vox Media acquires Preet Bharara’s Cafe Studios

Vox Media announced Sunday evening that it has acquired Cafe Studios, co-founded in 2017 by Preet Bharara. Cafe Studios explores how law and policy intersect with politics, news, business, history, and technology. The acquisition will be placed in Vox Media Podcast Network, a division of Vox Media Studios, a unit of Vox Media.  Continue Reading

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Casted, maker of branded audio and video podcasts, raises $7M Series A funding

Casted, which calls itself an first Amplified Marketing Platform for B2B marketers, has raised seven million dollars in a Series A round led by Revolution Ventures. Other investors include High Alpha Capital, Elevate Ventures, and Tappan Hill Ventures. The company quadrupled revenue in 2020, and one key investor predicts a multi-billion dollar sector. Continue Reading

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Libsyn raises $25M and will acquire AdvertiseCast

Libsyn, one of the world’s largest podcast hosting companies, announces today that it will acquire AdvertiseCast, a podcast ad planning and buying platform. The purchase is supported by $25-million in funds that the publicly traded company raised privately. While this funding is apparently motivated chiefly to enable the AdvertiseCast purchase, the investment is also intended “to provide Libsyn with additional capital for other strategic acquisitions.” Continue Reading

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Will Packer Media partners with iHeartMedia for new podcasts

Will Packer Media is entering a formal and longer-range partnership to create a slate of scripted and unscripted podcasts for iHeart. Will  Packer is a Hollywood producer. James Lopez is his production partner in the Fight Night podcast, a true crime show which was placed in iHeartRadio in 2020. The first spawn of this new arrangement will be an urban drama scripted series centered in present-day Oakland, California. It is set to launch in the second quarter of 2021. Continue Reading

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UK’s Global seeks to buy 49.99% of iHeartMedia

UK-based radio and technology behemoth Global is attempting to acquire 49.9% of iHeartMedia, the largest commercial radio group in the U.S. Doing so would require exemption from U.S. government rules that regulate foreign ownership of U.S. broadcasting companies. Global is seeking that exemption now, and in doing so seems to be revealing a potential misunderstanding between the two companies. There are precedents in which the FCC has granted exemptions, but not of this scale. Continue Reading

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Evergreen Podcasts invests in Podcast Radio, will power new-show production

Evergreen Podcasts has made an investment in Podcast Radio, the UK all-podcast DAB+ radio station that addresses the London, Surrey, Manchester, and Glasgow markets. The investment amount is undisclosed, but the purpose relates to the Podcast Radio production network, announced late last year, which we now understand will be powered by Evergreen. Continue Reading