Spotify, the music streaming platform with 207 million users, is delivering on its commitment to invest up to $ 500 million in its new podcasting business, a promise it made in February after announcing the acquisitions of podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor. Today, Spotify announced that it has acquired a small podcasting studio called Parcast, known as True Crime and other factual series in genres such as mystery, science fiction, and history.
Sample of titles in the 18 that it has produced to date. Serial killers, Unsolved murders, Cults and conspiracy theories Although it recently also released The mind’s eye, his first foray into fiction. Several of these have already amassed millions of listeners and have reached the top ten on the iTunes podcast charts. Spotify said that Parcast has about 20 additional shows for this year’s jobs.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to end this quarter (Q2) 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, were not disclosed.
The startup does not appear to have raised any notable external funds, so this deal is an obvious aid to help you expand your business thanks to the world’s largest music streaming platform.
“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and is in tune with fans of mystery and real crime, especially women, in all 50 states and around the world. We are proud to join the world’s most popular subscription audio streaming service and gain access to one of the world’s largest audiences, “said Max Cutler, founder and president of Parcast, in a statement.” Along with Spotify, our capability to scale, grow and amplify the unique and personalized brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities. “
Parcast was co-founded by Max and Ron Cutler, respectively father and son, and both repeat entrepreneurs. Major Cutler is a radio programming veteran who worked with several well-known radio stations from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Rick Dees, Tom Joyner, and Cousin Brucie, and founded Cutler Comedy Networks, which broadcast morning radio content to some 2,000 stations and was eventually sold to Premiere Radio Networks (now part of iHeartMedia). The young Cutler had cut his teeth while creating a social media startup, among other things.
Parcast was born from the conclusion that, along with all the talk radio-inspired programming seen across the podcast universe, there was a gap in the market for more true Discovery-style crime and other “objective” programming than tells stories with dramatic twists
In fact, when you consider the big hit of podcasts like Serial, has been one of the most popular podcast genres of all and has arguably helped put the medium on the map.
Consistent with that, the acquisition also fits in with what users are already looking for on Spotify, the company said.
“The addition of Parcast to our growing list of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Director of Content for Spotify, in a statement. “Crime and mystery podcasts are a superior genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success in creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base. We are excited to welcome the Parcast team to Spotify and look forward to further growth. “
The acquisition comes at a time when Spotify is doubling down on expanding and diversifying the type of audio content it can offer users beyond music. It is doing it for a number of reasons.
Part of this is to satisfy different tastes and moods. And part of this is developing new sources of income: both podcasting has freemium (ad financed) and premium potential (à la carte or subscription).
And the third big area where Parcast will give Spotify a boost is in its efforts to develop its own original content.
Spotify has a long-term mission to continue to differentiate itself from the rest of the music streaming package: It has 40 million tracks today, but for the average listener, it is a very comparable mix to what you can find on Pandora, Apple. Music, Amazon and Google. That mission also gives you its own intellectual property that Spotify doesn’t have to negotiate licensing agreements with third parties for its use.
And considering that it is currently fighting a legal battle against Apple over claims that its app stores are anti-competitive, having its own original programming base can only help its position as an independent platform in the long run.