Podcasts have become a staple form of entertainment in recent years, shedding their image as a niche pastime. As companies like Spotify and Apple go all-in on podcasts, it’s important to remember that there are several other companies in the space. That includes Acast, a podcast host and ad network, which claims to have become the biggest podcasting company in the world following its acquisition of RadioPublic.
Acast announced the news on Friday, as reported by The Verge. It plans to utilize RadioPublic’s existing tech to attract new users to its platform. The move will also help Acast continue to expand its footprint in the U.S.
Many people in the U.S. may not be familiar with Acast’s platform. That’s because platforms like Spotify and Apple Music dominate the podcast space in America. However, internationally, Acast has built a strong reputation for itself.
While it does offer a listening platform, the company mainly provides services for podcast creators. For instance, it helps creators host their shows, distribute them, and connect with listeners.
Largely, RadioPublic does the same thing. It has developed a suite of tools that help podcast creators engage with their audiences. According to The Verge, this behind-the-scenes tech is what drew Acast’s eye for the eventual acquisition.
One of RadioPublic’s most notable features, Affinity Promotions, allows creators to send text messages to loyal listeners. Another, Podsite, makes it easy to set up a custom website for their show. Acast hopes to use these technologies to attract new users as it continues its push in the U.S. market.
In an interview with The Verge, Acast’s chief business and strategy officer, Leandro Saucedo, said, “It’s hard for me to explain because you get so down to the technical side, but let’s say within the car that’s Acast there’s a gearbox, which you never see but you definitely feel it if you drive, and there’s some nice gearbox stuff in RadioPublic that you wouldn’t think of, but once we put that gearbox into our car, our car runs smoother.”
“I think there’s a lot of that behind the scenes, which really makes sense for us, which is deep tech within the realm of podcasts,” he continues.
Leveling the Playing Field
As noted, Spotify largely dominates the U.S. podcasting market. It achieved that status with a similar strategy to the one that Acast is now using.
Spotify offers podcasters access to tools like Anchor and Megaphone to help create and monetize their content. The Verge notes that Acast still doesn’t have a creation tool that can rival Anchor.
However, with its recent acquisition of RadioPublic, Acast is on the right track. It may be able to replicate Spotify’s success in the U.S. thanks to its new tools.
Even so, Saucedo claims that his company may already be ahead of Spotify. He told the Verge that Acast is “the largest podcasting business in the world.”
Whether that claim is true is difficult to confirm, but Saucedo mentioned his company’s $120 million worth of funding as proof. He notes that someone could use that to figure out Acast’s valuation but didn’t divulge the number directly.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Acast integrates RadioPublic’s tech into its business as it expands deeper into the U.S. podcasting market.