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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.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.