Entercom’s move to make the podcast studio Cadence13 a wholly-owned division has been completed. The deal, valued at roughly $50 million, gives Entercom the 55% of Cadence13 it did not already own. The buyout was announced in August and illustrated how the value of podcast companies has grown in recent years. When Entercom bought its 45% stake in the company in 2017, it paid just $9.7 million.
CEO David Field has said he no longer thinks companies can sit on the podcast sidelines. “The podcast business is exploding and if you don’t create a strong position today, I think you’re lost,” Field said in an interview last month. He told Variety’s Strictly Business podcast Entercom’s initial minority investment in Cadence13 was a good way for Entercom to enter podcasting without “biting off more than we could chew” and also functioned as a way to teach the radio company about the podcast business. “As time evolved, we learned even more about the space and where it was headed and we’re excited to move forward with them,” he said. Field said if it weren’t for the company’s focus on integrating the CBS Radio portfolio, it likely would have taken full control Cadence13 sooner.
Under the terms of their agreement, Entercom had an option to buy the remaining ownership interest in 2021. But with a sudden flurry of deal-making in the fast-growing podcasting industry, the two companies decided to pull the trigger two years early.
Cadence 13’s co-founders will remain in place, including CEO Spencer Brown, who now reports to Entercom Chief Digital Officer J.D. Crowley. Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer at Cadence13, continues to lead content for the division, and John Murphy, Cadence 13’s President, is also part of the leadership team.
Entercom also acquired the Brooklyn, NY-based podcast studio Pineapple Street Media for $18 million. Combined, Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Media are said to have had 150 million downloads per month during the second quarter.