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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

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Australian SCA launches LiSTNR news/music/podcast app, replacing PodcastOne branding

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the large commercial radio group in Australia, is making a splashy launch of LiSTNR, a new listening app that brings together the network’s radio content, news, music streaming channels (non-interactive), and podcasts. Click through for details. Continue Reading

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Global buys into iHeartMedia — 8.8%

UK-centered media and technology company Global has activated its investment arm, Honeycomb Investments LTD, to acquire 8.8% of iHeartMedia, the largest American commercial radio group and top podcast publisher. Remembering that Liberty also owns a stake in iHM, we speculate a brewing battle of buyers, as listener reach and advertising pull are increasingly parts of a cross-category landscape. Continue Reading

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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