Simplecast, the podcast management and analytics platform, has been acquired by SiriusXM which looks to pair the company’s content management, audience analytics and audio tools with the monetization platform of AdsWizz. Financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately released. The integration between AdsWizz and Simplecast's Moveable Audio Engine or MAE will be immediate.
SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer described the investment as “small” during an appearance at an investor conference on Wednesday. He also suggested the company could make further acquisitions in the ad tech space. “It’s not very glamourous but it’s really necessary if you want to be able to take podcasts and monetize them through advertising,” said Meyer. “We are going to continue to look in that area as to how we scale, particularly our position in advertising technology and also the monetization of advertising in general.”
SiriusXM said the combination of Simplecast and AdsWizz will form its publisher solution business, a full-service platform which the satcaster says it is has created to work with podcasters of all sizes. It also aligns with the tools and monetization services that SiriusXM subsidiary Pandora has created for podcasters and publishers. The aim of the deal is to create an end-to-end solution that enables creators to publish and generate revenue from their podcasts, all in one place. And through Pandora for Podcasters, show creators will be able to submit their podcasts to Pandora and then gain access to data analytics tools and useful audience insights from the listeners who access a podcast on that app.
"Our goal is to provide audio publishers with state-of-the-art platforms and give them everything they need to be successful," said Alexis van de Wyer, CEO of AdsWizz. "Empowering podcasters of any size to create, distribute, analyze, and monetize their work is the next natural step in pursuing our vision.”
New York-based Simplecast was founded in 2013 by CEO Brad Smith, who over the last seven years built a business that has worked with a growing list of podcast creators from Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard to brands such as Netflix, QCODE and Blue Wire. It delivered nearly a billion audio requests last year.
"From the beginning, Simplecast's mantra and mission was to remain laser-focused on podcast creators - building the best tools for publishing and insights," said Smith in a statement. "The opportunity and alignment with AdsWizz allows our product – and our customers – access to a powerful monetization platform. Two best-in-class platforms are now able to align with the shared mission of helping publishers succeed, while each team continues to focus on their respective areas of expertise." Smith continues to oversee Simplecast.
Even as Spotify has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying podcast companies during the past year, executives say SiriusXM has been more quietly exploring acquisitions. “I don’t think Spotify is the only company interested in assets,” Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez said on the latest Recode Media podcast. “There are other companies like subscription and audio, like SiriusXM which owns Pandora, and their business is 100% audio.” Lopez said he also thinks the music labels and traditional video companies are also potential buyers of podcast businesses.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse conference Wednesday, SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer reiterated that he thinks some of the podcast deal-making has been overheated in recent months. “I personally believe some of the stuff that has gone on in the podcast space today is not rational economics,” he said. “But I think you will see us investing more in the podcast area, but rationally, intelligently and disciplined.”