How did Acast get 35 Million Dollars?

It continues to be shocking what investors fall for when it comes to investing in companies.  Acast had a Series C investment of 35 million. Yet the Acast numbers tell another story. Using feed analysis data provided by Daniel J Lewis the following tells an eye-raising story of what Acast has going on with the small number of shows they have.

Acast Stats
2.4K podcasts (0.4%) of Global Listings in Apple Podcasts
1.3K active podcasts (52.9%) have published an episode in 90 days.
1.1K inactive podcasts (47.1%) have not published an episode in 90 days
186 with 3 or fewer episodes (7.8%)
444 with 4–9 episodes (18.7%)
1.0K with 10–50 episodes (43.4%)
713 with 51 or more episodes (30.1%)
1.1K point to podcast page on media host (48.2%)

Yet they only had 2 million in revenue and now 155 million pre-money valuation. If you compare that to Libsyns numbers and revenue Libsyn reports Libsyn should have a market cap of around 3 billion which is a pipe dream as well.

Libsyn Stats
40.9k podcasts
25.3k active podcasts (62.0%)
15.5k inactive podcasts (38.0%)
3.3k with 3 or fewer episodes (8.1%)
6.5k with 4–9 episodes (15.9%)
18.2k with 10–50 episodes (44.5%)
12.9k with 51 or more episodes (31.6%)
18.3k point to podcast page on media host (44.9%)

This is not going to end well for the investors at Acast in our opinion.

Some Shocking Statistics

Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast has been doing some deep diving on numbers in the podcasting space looking specifically at shows in Apple Podcasts through their API and have come up with some stats that are absolute gold.  See more stats here.

Total Feeds
Almost 609K total podcasts in Apple Podcasts.

83K SoundCloud feeds
72k Anchor feeds
50K FeedBurner feeds
40K Libsyn feeds
28.3K Podbean feeds
27K Blubrry / PowerPress feeds
15.1K Spreaker feeds
8.2K Buzzsprout feeds
3.2K Simplecast feeds
2K Libsyn Pro feeds
1.1K feeds
1K Podtrac feeds
600 Fireside feeds

Some Interesting Metrics in relationships to the number of Episodes in the feeds

58K of the Anchor feeds have 10 or fewer episodes.
50K of the SoundCloud feeds have 10 or fewer episodes.
11K of Libsyn feeds have 10 or fewer.
A little more than half of all podcasts in AP have 10 or fewer episodes!
78.5K feeds in AP have only 1 episode!

When Daniel looked at the 3 or fewer episode metric per feed the breakdown even gets more wide-eyed.

42.4K Anchor feeds have 3 or fewer episodes
27.2K for SoundCloud
8.4K for FeedBurner
3.6K for Libsyn
3.3K for Blubrry / PowerPress
158.7K podcasts in all of AP have 3 or fewer episodes.

Overall Stats
263.3K (43.2%) of podcasts haven’t released an episode at all this year.

When Looking at Apple Podcast to see how many shows have the correct link back to there .com here is the breakdown.

-Of the 40.8K Libsyn-domain feeds in Apple Podcasts, more than half have their website properly set to something other than a Libsyn domain. Leaving 18.3K Libsyn-domain feeds pointing to Libsyn-domain websites. But without visiting every web page, that remaining number could contain any split between intentional an accident.

-SoundCloud has 83.3K domain feeds in Apple Podcast, and a smaller-than-I-expected-but-still-big 48.8K of those feeds have a Sound Cloud URL as the website.

-Anchor has 72,169 feeds in AP. All but 3 are pointing back to the podcast’s Anchor webpage and are not a podcast’s own branded website! (Edited by Request DJL)

He also looked at the total number of episodes across all feeds for the following companies an came up with these averages.

SoundCloud: 2,046,816 / average 24.5 episodes per show.
Libsyn: 1,980,221 / average 48.5 episodes per show.
Podbean: 789,113 / average 27.9 episodes per show.
Anchor  631,550 episodes /average of 8.8 episodes per show.
Spreaker: 613,082 / average 40.5 episodes per show.

There are some serious takeaways here we will update this article as he provides more data. Gives you some insight into what is really happening in the podcasting space.

Podcast Awards Nominations

The 12th Annual Podcast Awards nominations open on July 1st.

The 12th annual event is shaping up to be an interesting year with the new site, new rules, and voting process. The changes made by the Podcast Awards committee in response to significant process inequity over the past two or three years are on the surface, appear to prevent virtually handing the win to a group of shows that teamed up for group nominations and group voting. The changes to voting process appear to attempt to level the playing field, and according to the podcast awards rules page restored the spirit of the awards.

With the awards being boycotted by a small number of shows that are part of the Diamond Group due to the rules change, controversy does continue.

“Todd Cochrane the Awards founder said it’s unfortunate what’s happened the last couple of years. He said his reaction following the awards last year was not the best, and to a point, he felt upon review what the Diamond Group did was within the rules, it sure definitely was not in the spirit of the awards. The mocking and off-channel discussions showed a small percentage of the participants were in it for sport.” He goes on to say, “I did not create the awards to have them manipulated, but in hindsight, the committee should have made the changes as soon as I reacquired the awards.  He states the Awards Committee worked really hard to bring equity back to the event”

With the Podcast Awards about two weeks away, it will be interesting to see how the process flushes out.  As has been often by the founder, the awards process is never perfect. You can register all the way through the end of July but remember nominations open on July 1st.