Spotify is on something of a podcast acquisition binge, as the audio-streaming giant today announced its third such deal in less than two months. The latest target is Parcast, a podcast studio that focuses specifically on story-based series, including both nonfiction and fictional works across crime and mystery genres. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition will go some way toward helping Spotify solidify its position as a serious podcasting platform — one that produces its own content.
“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Spotify’s chief content officer, Dawn Ostroff. “Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users, and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base.”
Spotify sees podcast gold
Founded out of Los Angeles in 2016 by Max Cutler, Parcast currently has two studios and employs around 20 people, who have collectively helped create 18 podcast shows, including Serial Killers, Female Criminals, and Mind’s Eye — Parcast’s inaugural fictional production.
This deal comes shortly after Spotify’s dual acquisitions of Gimlet Media and Anchor, the former specializing in creating original content and the latter in distributing and monetizing content. With Parcast on board, Spotify will have more resources to produce a library of shows that can’t be found anywhere else.
Podcast listening continues to rise around the world, a trend that has not been lost on other players in the field, including Apple and Google. Back in January, Spotify cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek indicated that while music will remain a core focus, the company will increasingly embrace other forms of audio entertainment.
“Based on radio industry data, we believe it is a safe assumption that, over time, more than 20 percent of all Spotify listening will be non-music content,” he said.
There are countless podcasting apps and aggregators out there, which is why Spotify is focusing on owning (and monetizing) the content itself. It isn’t alone in this podcast gold rush — last September, media giant iHeartMedia acquired podcast content company Stuff Media in a deal worth around $55 million. And U.S. media company Scripps bought Midroll Media, a Los Angeles-based digital media startup that operated an ad network and original podcasting studio.
In sum, this latest deal gives Spotify more original non-music content, while Parcast gets access to nearly 100 million paying Spotify subscribers, not to mention the tens of millions more who can be monetized through advertisements.
“We are proud to join the world’s most popular audio subscription streaming service and gain access to one of the largest audiences around the world,” Cutler said. “Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow, and amplify the unique and tailored brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities.”