The booming podcast marketplace has already attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and as the medium continues to grow, money continues to follow. Several venture capitalists have told Business Insider they’re still bullish on podcasting as a good place to invest their dollars.
“Audio is going to become an increasingly big deal," said Fred Wilson, a cofounder and partner at Union Square Ventures. Wilson told BI that he’s especially impressed with how the New York Times has used its podcast The Daily to reach new audiences, many of whom never consume any other content produced by the newspaper. Wilson also thinks wireless headphones like Apple’s Airpods are only helping grow audio’s use.
But it’s not just technology that’s attracting venture capital investment. So is content. Greycroft has so far put its money into companies like Wondery and Glow, the podcast platform that allows show producers to offer “memberships” to fans who in exchange gain access to ad-free content. Greycroft founding partner Dana Settle told BI that there’s a lot of momentum for podcasting. “We think as a medium, it's super interesting and a big growth area, in terms of platforms but in the ways our consumer companies are using podcasting to engage their audience in really interesting ways," she said.
One of the biggest podcast investment maneuvers to date was the launch of Luminary, which had a reported $100 million in investment cash when it entered the market with a subscription-based model. To date Luminary has closely guarded its subscriber numbers but this week it lowered its price to $4.99, down from its previous $7.99 to stimulate sales. Yet Amy Banse, managing director at Comcast Ventures, told BI she still thinks there’s a subscription play for podcasting. "People have been trained to pay for video, and I think they'll pay for audio content as well," Banse said.