Fresh from raising $4 million to help accelerate its acquisition of established podcasts and production of its own shows, Audioboom is expanding its New York podcast production operation with the launch of two new recording studios. The facilities come as the company looks to expand its portfolio of shows in the Audioboom Originals Network beyond the current lineup of a dozen podcasts.
The new studio complex will more than double the company’s production capacity and open the door to more co-production partnerships. One of the new studios will house Audioboom’s roundtable and personality-driven shows, while the other will be dedicated to more intimate, interview-style programming and solo productions.
“Our new studios will give us the ability to produce more than 40 shows out of our New York office alone, which is an important step in expanding our Audioboom Originals Network,” said Stuart Last, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
Audioboom says it expects to add 10 new Audioboom Originals by year-end, including “Never Thought I’d Say This”with “Fuller House” star Jodie Sweetin, and two shows that are still in their early stages: a biographical podcast “A Life Lived” and movie show called “Truth vs. Hollywood.”
“New York City’s hub of creative talent along with our team of in-house producers have laid the foundation for an incredibly creative podcast network,” Last added. “Our new studios represent a new standard for podcast production and will take the Audioboom Originals Network to new heights.”
Audioboom received the $4 million cash infusion from Michael Tobin, the company's Chairman, and Candy Ventures, its largest shareholder, which currently holds 24% of the company. The funding will be used to provide minimum advertising revenue guarantees to new content partners as well as offer similar guarantees when existing partners’ contracts come up for renewal. Such revenue guarantees remain “very much an exception” when negotiating the terms of a deal with content providers, the company said, telling investors they’re only used to secure “leading, high-profile, high-revenue producing podcasts.”
Audioboom has already begun putting the money to use. It says it will use $1 million for a revenue guarantee for one of its most popular entertainment podcasts. It doesn’t reveal which, but it’s believed to be the “And That’s Why We Drink” podcast, which signed a commercial agreement with Audioboom last September. The deal gives Audioboom exclusive sales and distribution rights for the show for 18 months, with the opportunity to work with the content partner on additional podcast projects. “In Q1 2019, Audioboom sold 100% of its available advertising inventory against this podcast and the directors believe the new deal will more than double the inventory that the group can sell on this content,” the company told investors. “That’s Why We Drink” has been downloaded more than 22 million times.
In exchange for their investment, Tobin and Candy Ventures will receive 8% of the net advertising revenue from any podcast for which their money was used to provide a guarantee. They’ll also get warrants to buy up to 10 million shares of company stock exercisable during the next five years. An initial grant of 2.5 million warrants has been made, split equally between Tobin and Candy Ventures.