Nov 10, 2020 - Economy

Spotify acquires podcast monetization company Megaphone

Illustration of podcast symbol with headphones on and smiling

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify said Tuesday that it's acquiring Megaphone, one of the top podcast advertising platforms, from Graham Holdings for $235 million. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Why it matters: It's the latest mega-investment Spotify is making into boosting its podcast business. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollar in buying up podcast companies and exclusive rights to big-name shows.

Details: The deal will help Spotify specifically bolster its podcast advertising strategy.

  • Megaphone, formerly called Panoply Media, was started by The Slate Group in 2015. The company used to produce podcasts, but later pivoted to focus on helping companies with advertising and audience metrics.
  • Megaphone is one of just a few companies that focuses on dynamic ad insertion, meaning the automatic placement of ads within a podcast.
  • Earlier this year, Spotify launched something similar called "streaming ad insertion." This deal will build on that effort.

Be smart: For now, podcasting is a small but growing advertising medium. By aggregating investments in podcast monetization, delivery and content, Spotify aims to grow the podcast advertising industry significantly and secure a chunk of the revenue that goes with it.

The big picture: Its efforts come as rivals continue to try to bolster their own podcast businesses, including SiriusXM, which acquired Spotify's music rival Pandora in 2018, and iHeartMedia, which has recently completed a number of smaller podcast company acquisitions.

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