Spotify’s push into podcasting isn’t coming cheap. After surprising the industry by paying a combined $339 million in its pending deal to buy Gimlet Media and Anchor, sources say it has agreed to pay more than $100 million for Parcast. The Financial Times quotes an unnamed source close to the negotiations, who said the deal is a combination of $100 million in cash plus additional earn-outs to be paid in the future. Spotify has not yet disclosed to shareholders specifics of the deal announced Tuesday.
Similar to its acquisition of Gimlet, Parcast will give Spotify another team focused on producing content. Max Cutler founded Los Angeles-based Parcast in 2016 and its shows have been particularly successful among women. The company says more than three-quarters of its audience is female—something that may have swayed Spotify to pay more for the small operation.
What will Spotify get for that money? Parcast has released 18 series so far including Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults, and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye. The company says it has more than 20 new podcasts slated to launch by the end of this year. Deal-makers say the reported $100 million price tag would represent a huge multiple.
Spotify has already shown it’s willing to reset what a podcast company is worth. It agreed to acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor for a combined $339 million. Spotify has so far kept specifics secret saying it was working on other transactions and a release of the details might jeopardize those deals. But reports have suggested Gimlet was sold for $230 million so that would put the price tag on Anchor, a podcast publishing and monetization company, at roughly $100 million.
Spotify has told its shareholders it has lined up “multiple acquisitions” worth between $400-500 million this year in the podcast marketplace. Prior to its buying spree, the previous record deal in podcasting had been iHeartMedia’s $55 million acquisition of Stuff Media last year.
Even as it has been spending freely, Spotify has also classified its podcast expansion as anything but a sure bet. It has cautioned shareholders in regularly filings that it’s taking “numerous risks” to move beyond being a music service to adding spoken word content.