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Who’s Buying Indie Podcast Companies, Flightpath to Fix “Faked-In”, & more

Who’s Buying Indie Podcast Companies, Flightpath to Fix “Faked-In”, & more

March 11, 2024

More Buyers Eye Independent Podcast Companies by Ashley Carman

The end of 2023 had some dark clouds for independent podcast companies. Several big players in the industry have cooled on big-ticket acquisitions and the advertising industry’s bumpy back half of the year made the future uncertain for self-owned podcasts and networks. As spring arrives, 2024 is starting to show new promise. For instance, Campside Media has just signed a multi-project deal with Wondery. While huge price ticket acquisitions might be a rarity, big publishers are tactfully patching holes in their inventory by partnering with (or acquiring) small production houses. [Source]

Pandora’s Users Are Shrinking. Here’s Why SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz Isn’t Worried.

According to SiriusXM’s latest earnings call, Pandora has lost 1.7 million users year over year, a total of 46 million users by the end of Q4 2023. Meanwhile, SXM has put a healthy investment in growing their podcasting footprint, the biggest related headline in recent memory being the exclusivity deal with Smartless, reportedly costing in the neighborhood of $100 million. CEO Jennifer Witz stresses such moves are consistent with the company’s prior decisions in podcasting and new additions slot into their existing portfolio in such a way to better enable monetization and brand deals with the rest of the stable of podcasting. Meanwhile, on the automotive side of SiriusXM, the new version of the app is expected to be updated to allow seamless listening from the mobile app to the car version of SXM, allowing users’ audio experience to be further integrated into their daily lives. With that context, the wider goal is not to make Pandora the best overall podcasting app in the world, it’s to make Pandora a well-balanced part of the SXM audio ecosystem. [Source]

Flightpath Gives Publishers Tools to Support Baked In Sales via Dynamic Ad Insertion

The new feature allows advertisers who prefer baked-in host-read ads, enabling “faked-in” style dynamic insertion of host-read ad creatives targeting specific episodes of a podcast. A problem in early implementations of “faked-in” ad sales that simulate a baked-in host-read ad for a targeted episode is early podcast DAI had issues guaranteeing every download of a locked episode included that ad. Flightpath has designed their feature around the idea of addressing both under-serving ads and any potential oversold episode locks in future. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: