Earlier this year, Pandora announced that it would acquire AdsWizz. That same day, AdsWizz confirmed the acquisition in a tweet that linked to a press release on Business Wire. Pandora posted the same press release on their website.
Pandora is the world’s most powerful music discovery platform. AdsWizz has created the end-to-end technology platform that is powering the digital audio advertising ecosystem. From dynamic ad insertion to advanced programmatic platforms to innovative new audio formats, AdsWizz efficiently connects buyers and sellers in digital audio.
Pandora announced that the addition of AdsWizz will upgrade Pandora’s ad tech capabilities, provide its advertisers with greater audience reach, and expand the company’s revenue opportunities.
AdsWizz is one of the few ad tech firms that is completely dedicated to digital audio, serving some of the largest players in the industry. With digital audio advertising growing 42% year-over-year, according to the IAB, the combined offering of Pandora and AdsWizz will capitalize on this trend, making it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns.
Once fully integrated, advertisers will be able to transact through AdsWizz’s global marketplace across Pandora and other leading audio publishers. Pandora will support the growth of AdsWizz’s core business and invest in technology development that serves all constituents.
The press release states that AdsWizz will become a subsidiary of Pandora. Alexis van de Weyr will remain the CEO of AdsWizz. Pandora agreed to pay $145 million in a combination of cash and stock, with a minimum of 50 percent paid in cash and stock (with a minimum of 50 percent paid in cash and the remainder to be paid, at Pandora’s election, in either cash or stock. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
Pandora, as you may know, started streaming the amazingly popular Serial podcast in October of 2014. Now, Pandora has added another well known podcast, This American Life. New episodes of This American Life will go live on Pandora on Mondays and can be enjoyed via iOS, Android, tablet, or on the web.
This American Life first went on the air in 1995 in Chicago. Since then, it has expanded to become a popular weekly public radio show broadcast nationwide. Episodes have been heard on over 500 stations and downloaded by more than two million people each week.
Ira Glass is the host of This American Life. The podcast is produced in collaboration WBEZ Chicago (who are also the creators of Serial). Each week, the producers choose a theme and present various stories that fit that theme.
Pandora has put a This American Life Station together for Pandora users who are new to the podcast. Pandora has a selection of past episodes for users to explore.
Interestingly, there is no mention of exclusivity in the press release Pandora released about the addition of This American Life. (When Serial was added, it was said to be exclusive to Pandora.) It is possible to find the newest episode on the This American Life website or to subscribe to it via iTunes.
Music-streaming services sure do love podcasts. First, Deezer bought Stitcher. Then, Spotify opened a beta program for podcasts. Even Google, podcasting’s biggest stalwart, will be adding podcasts to Google Play. I guess it’s no surprise then that Pandora, one of the longest running and most successful music streamers, is getting into podcasting, too. But unlike these other services, Pandora is barely getting its feet wet in podcasting’s pool.
If you’re chomping at the bit to add your own podcast feed to Pandora’s catalog, slow down. Pandora isn’t taking open submissions. It’s not sending out private invitations or launching an exclusive beta. Pandora is entering the world of podcasting by adding one show to its platform. If you’ve paid any attention to recent podcasting news, you won’t be surprised to learn that this one podcast is Serial, the This American Life-fueled juggernaut that lit up the hearts and minds of so many pundits over the last year, causing them to gush many words about the so-called “podcast resurgence.”
Pandora will stream the first season of Serial starting on November 24th. And then some time after that (nobody knows when), Pandora will also stream Serial’s much-anticipated second season. The initial announcement of this plan led to some confusion, as many believed that Pandora would be Serial’s exclusive distributor for season 2. But that’s not accurate. Along with Pandora, Serial season 2 will also be available thru iTunes and most other podcast-y places upon its release.