Acast And Amazon Music Enter Agreement For Ad-Free Podcast Listening



Amazon Music and Acast have entered into an agreement to deliver ad-free podcasts for Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

Amazon Music has purchased all the ad inventory across thousands of Acast podcasts, and as a result, listeners will be able to access those podcasts ad-free on Amazon Music. Ad-free listening to Acast podcasts on Amazon Music will result in revenue for Acast podcasters.

The agreement enables Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers to stream Acast podcasts without ads globally through the Amazon Music app, available via the listeners device of choice – including smartphone, tablet, PC/Mac, Fire TV, and Alexa-enabled devices like Amazon Echo. Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers will be able to use Amazon Music to listen interruption-free to thousands of Acast shows, at no additional cost.

“This is an exciting deal and we look forward to partnering with Amazon Music. Monetization in the podcasting space has diversified massively in recent years. This deal opens up an additional channel to increase revenue and improve our sell-through rates based on our large ad inventory of Acast Marketplace. We will probably see more opportunities opening up in the industry going forward,” said Ross Adams, CEO at Acast.

“I am extremely excited that our Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited customers can now listen to the fantastic selection of Acast podcasts ad-free, and at no additional cost. I’ve long been a fan of many of these podcasts and can’t wait to dive in. I look forward to our new relationship with Acast,” added Craig Strachan, Head of Podcasts, Europe, Australia & New Zealand, Amazon Music.

The partnership opens up a new revenue channel for Acast, and at the same time, it diversifies the revenue stream for Acast creators. Prime members and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can stream the podcasts ad-free on Amazon Music starting now.


Magellan AI Verified As Third-Party Attribution Partner By Spreaker From iHeart



Magellan AI, the podcast advertising analytics and attribution platform with the world’s largest database of podcast advertising data announced that they have been validated as a third party partner by Spreaker from iHeart, the leading podcast platform for monetization, globally. This integration will allow all advertising campaigns run on the Spreaker network to use Attribution by Magellan AI, which delivers accurate and in-depth campaign results and attribution analytics.

“We are dedicated to enabling the podcasters on Spreaker to have access to industry-leading data and analytics,” said Matt Verzella, Head of Partnerships and Enterprise Sales at Spreaker. “We are happy support Magellan AI as they continue to grow the podcast space through valuable third-party attribution and metrics.”

“We are excited to empower Spreaker users to utilize Attribution by Magellan AI to gain access to in-depth information about advertising campaigns,” said Jim Ballas, Head of Publisher Partnerships at Magellan AI. “By connecting attribution data with the robust data that we are already aggregate, advertisers and brands will be able to gain even greater insights into the power of podcast ads.”

Attribution by Magellan AI enables advertisers to access third party delivered impression verification and full-funnel attribution data, from views through conversions and transactions, allowing advertising to optimize and increase ROI on their podcast campaigns.

Attribution by Magellan AI is currently in beta, with plans to make it widely available in Q1 2023. Publishers and podcasters can currently onboard at no cost. Sign up for the beta program today by visiting https://www.magellan.ai/attribution


Libsyn Supports Sounder Customers By Offering Complementary Hosting



Liberated Syndication Inc. (“Libsyn”), the leading ‘Podcasting As A Service’ platform, announced that it is offering all current customers with a podcast hosted on Sounder.fm to move to Libsyn at no cost for the first six months.

Sounder.fm recently announced that they will no longer be supporting Podcast Hosting and Advertising services. Sounder’s hosting platform will shut down on January 31, 2023, and all advertising solutions will stop operating on December 31, 2022.

“We are saddened to hear that Sounder has made the decision to depart the podcast hosting and advertising business,” said Rich Romano, Vice President of Marketing at Libsyn. “We would like to extend an invitation to all Sounder customers to come to Libsyn, for the first six months, at no costs. We will make the transition as seamless as possible for them – to have their hosting and advertising services up and running quickly.”

Sounder.fm customers with a current, active podcast can sign up for all Libsyn hosting packages up to and including $20, then contact Libsyn Customer Support at sounder@libsynsupport.com to receive a full credit.

Sounder.fm customers will be credited up to $20 a month for the first six months with Libsyn. Must move a current and active podcast on Sounder.fm to Libsyn to qualify for the offer.


Nominations Announced For 2022 Audio Productions Award



Poppy Jay & Rubina Pabani, have been confirmed as the hosts of this year’s Audio Production Awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday 23rd November. The Awards, sponsored by Audible, will be held at a gala evening at the BFI on London’s South Bank.

The APAs, organized by AudioUK (the trade body which champions and supports independent audio production businesses in the UK), celebrate outstanding achievement in audio production across a huge range of audio content including; podcasts, audiobooks, sound design, radio, presenting and more.

Producer, Sound Designer and Presenter Axel Kacoutié received nominations across three categories, as did Producer Victoria Ferran, nominated for Best Arts & Culture Producer, Best Entertainment Producer and Producer of the Year.

Presenter category nominees include talkSPORT’s Leanne Sanderson for Best New Voice, Claudia Wrinkleman and Rob Beckett for Best Presenter, BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Throwback Party hosts Joel, Keke and DJ Silk for Best Ensemble Cast, and Minnie Driver for Bonnier Books UK for Best Narrator.

Carousel, an organization supporting learning disabled people to fulfill their creative ambitions in the arts, received a first time nomination for the Grassroots Production Award. Newcomer Talia Augustidis for Message Heard received two nominations for Best New Producer and Best New Voice. Plus a new category for 2022, Publisher or Network of the Year, proved “tough competition,” said judges.

Bernard Achampong, Founder of Unedited, Vice Chair of AudioUK and Chair of Judges said:

“This year we received a record breaking number of entries across the 22 categories which reflects the sheer growth, creativity and talent working in this space. It is so encouraging to see, and such an exciting industry to be part of. Our vision is to champion the most outstanding producers whose work we will listen back to in 20 years time and all be proud of. Congratulations to all the nominees, I’m looking forward to raising a glass to the winners of 2022.”

Audio Production Awards 2022 Nominees

Best Arts & Culture Producer

Hannah Dean – Falling Tree Productions
Hannah Hufford – BBC Audio
Geoff Bird – Freelance
Lyndsay Fenner & Victoria Lloyd – Storyglass
Steven Rajam – Overcoat Media
Victoria Ferran – Just Radio

Best Audiobook Producer

Chris Thompson – Penguin Random House
David Beck – Wireless Theatre for Audible
Kathleen Moroney – Red Apple Creative for Audible
Laura-Leigh Smith – String and Tins for Audible
Lily Ridett – Freelance
Tanya Hougham – HarperCollins

Best Branded Sound Producer

Adam Venton – Little Monster Media
Ali Rezakhani – BBC Sounds
Chris Nicoll – WIZZFX
Kenny Southavy- Reelworld
Luke Berry – BBC Popular Music Station Sound
Sam Parker – WIZZFX

Best Drama & Fiction Podcast

Andrew Mark Sewell – B7 Productions
Barnaby Eaton-Jones & Ian Haig – Idea Hat Productions
Celia de Wolff – Pier Productions
Jacqueline Rayner – Big Finish Productions
Melanie Harris – Sparklab Productions
Nicholas Jackson – Afonica

Best Ensemble Cast

Elis James & John Robins – Audio Always
Helen Brown, Terri Sweeney, Emma Goswell & Been Khetani – Effin Hormones
Joelah, Keke & DJ Silk – 1Xtra’s Throwback Party
Kat Anderson & Natalia Anderson – Expat Immigrant Podcast
Kim Davis & Raffaella Coleman – The Scene
William Hanson & Jordan North – Audio Always

Best Entertainment Producer

Adem Waterman – Absolute Radio
Lorna Skingley – 7digital
Lucy Dearlove – Storyglass
Meera Kumar – Buddy
Ore Olukoga – TBI Media
Victoria Ferran – Just Radio

Best Factual Producer Sponsored by In:Quality

Axel Kacoutié – Falling Tree Productions
Eva Krysiak – Freelance
Joshua Kelly – The Guardian
Kate Taylor – Audible
Redzi Bernard – Falling Tree Productions
Russell Finch – Wondery

Best Lifestyle & Society Producer (New for 2022) Sponsored by BetterHelp

Andrew Gold – Freelance
Anouska Tate – Freelance
Lina Prestwood – Scenery Studios
Sangeeta Pillai – Soul Sutras
Selina Ream – Somethin’ Else
Sylvie Carlos – Unedited

Best Music Producer

Arthur Hagues – Prison Radio Association
Helen Watherhead – Audio Always
Jack Howson
Kate Callin – Multitrack
Keana Bernard – BBC Audio
Nate Goodman – We Are Grape

Best Narrator

Andy Serkis – HarperCollins
Julie Hesmondhalg – Harper Collins
Kristin Atherton – Penguin Random House
Minnie Driver – Bonnier Books UK
Tom Alexander. HarperCollins
Tracy Wiles – Almost Tangible

Find more categories HERE.


SBS Radio Continues Evolution To Become SBS Audio



SBS announces that in 2023, its radio offering will become SBS Audio to reflect its cross-platform offering across more than 60 different languages.

David Hua, SBS’s Director, Audio Language Content, speaking at SBS’s 2023 Upfront, said radio would always be an important part of SBS and that the change from SBS Radio to SBS Audio next year reflects the ongoing success in transforming into a cross-platform audio provider, covering broadcast radio, live streaming, digital publishing, and podcasting.

“Today, SBS’s audio offering is not just a linear radio network – we have transformed into a truly platform agnostic multilingual audio and digital broadcaster and publisher, and we are continuing to evolve our services for an increasingly diverse Australia”, said Hua.

“Every week, we broadcast more than 262 hours of original audio content and publish hundreds of articles in more than 60 languages. We are rapidly seeing audiences embrace audio streaming and podcasting, with more than six million streams and podcast downloads every month.”

Hua noted the unique position SBS Audio has in the Australian media landscape because of its distinctive content and its connection to Australian communities.

SBS Audio serves the more than 5.5 million Australians who speak a language other than English at home, as well as providing content in English, and for those learning a new language. It also has three music channels (SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and SBS Chill) that engage all Australians through music and culture from around the world. SBS Arabic24 and SBS Chinese provide comprehensive services for Australia’s largest language community across a growing audio and digital offering.

“The change to SBS Audio in 2023 reflects that, at a time when every publisher and broadcaster is pivoting to audio and broadcasting ,SBS is already well established,” Hua said.

“Our biggest podcasts are among the most listened to in Australia. The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t just a force on SBS OnDemand, our companion podcast, Eyes on Gilead, has hundreds of thousands of downloads each season, and tops charts globally.

“What other network launches a podcast like Colors of Cricket, offering a unique South Asian perspective on how a love of the sport has brought communities together? Or Chinese-ish, a podcast by young Chinese-Australians, for young Chinese-Australians?

“Or our podcast which expresses The Uluru Statement from the Heart, in over 80 languages (including 20 First Nations languages), has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in just the last three months alone.

“SBS Audio’s ability to speak to audiences in over 60 languages, and our connection with the communities we serve built on more than 45 years of broadcasting, continue to be our special superpowers.”

For brands, the shift to digital opens up new opportunities with pre-roll and mid-roll advertising from across SBS’s audio network.

“There is a large, highly engaged audience turning in,” said Adam Sadler, Director of Media Sales, SBS. “The benefit of this shift is we are able to reach specific and highly engaged communities in a way which is both effective and clearly measurable.”

In recent years, SBS Audio highlighted the power of its connection to diverse audiences, launching bespoke offerings such as the multilingual SBS Coronavirus Portal providing a place where Australians could access important information and the latest news in their preferred language. It includes explainers, infographics, and resources for communities and businesses, and with audiences accessing the content more than 11 million times.

Last month, SBS launched a new offering with Mind Your Health, a portal featuring articles, podcasts, and videos in multiple languages, aimed at providing Australians from multicultural and First Nations communities with wellbeing and mental health stories and pathways to support.


PodX Group Acquires Majority Share In Goldhawk Productions



In September, PodX announced of a majority share in French podcast production company Nouvelles Écoutes. PodX Group are now becoming the majority shareholders in Goldhawk Productions, a unique production company specializing in audio drama and fiction with a list of catalog of premium IP rights. The company is behind global success formats such as Passenger List, Mumbai Crime, Life After, The Cipher, Tumanbay and Restart. Goldhawk is PodX Group’s first investment in the UK.

Established by multi-award-winning husband-and-wife team John Scott Dryden and Ayesha Menon, Goldhawk Productions has become one of the most distinctive and successful audio fiction production companies in the world. Goldhawk’s overriding mission is great storytelling in sound. The company has made shows all over the world, and extensively in the US and India.

Several of its shows have spin-off novels and been optioned to TV. Goldhawk’s work has won recognition at major festivals around the world including the Webby Awards, New York Festivals, Prix Europa, Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards, Peabody Awards, BBC Audio Drama Awards and the Sony Awards.

Current available fiction podcasts produced by Goldhawk include Passenger List, Mumbai Crime, The Cipher, Life After, Tumanbay, TakeOver, and the recently released thriller Restart, set in the world of video gaming. A new original thriller Young Blood, starring Geoffrey Arend, has just been released by Audible.

John is a writer, director and executive producer. With an impressive track record creating shows for BBC radio, he was hired by Panoply (now Megaphone) in New York as Head of Scripted Content. Before that he had also been Head of Drama for RNZ, New Zealand. John is a recipient of a Peabody Award and has made shows for Audible, PRX/Radiotopia, Wondery, iHeart and the BBC.

He created the fiction podcast Passenger List, a mystery thriller starring Kelly Marie Tran about a plane that disappears mid-flight between London and New York, and the historical fantasy series Tumanbay which ran for four seasons and led to two spin-off novels. His work for the BBC includes the thrillers Severed Threads, A Kidnapping, Pandemic and The Reluctant Spy. He also co-created and executive produces for BBC Sounds the hit YA fiction podcast The Cipher and recently released Restart.

Ayeesha is a writer, creator and producer. Her modern-day adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities won Best Adaptation and her Midnight’s Children won the Outstanding Achievement award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards. She presents the podcast Mumbai Crime, a curated series of audio thrillers from India, released by PRX/Radiotopia. Her credits include the original detective series Undercover Mumbai for the BBC, Jungle Book, TakeOver, and her acclaimed audio adaptations of Vikas Swarup’s best-selling novel Q&A (aka Slumdog Millionaire) and Naguib Mahfouz’s The Cairo Trilogy both of which won Sony Radio Awards.

Staffan Rosell, CEO and Member of the Board, PodX Group: “Goldhawk Productions is a world class company pioneering in fiction podcasts. They have achieved massive global success with formats such as Passenger List, Tumanbay and Mumbai Crime. We are incredibly proud and happy to partner up with John and Ayeesha.”


Edison Research To Add Download Counts To Its Podcast Metrics Services



Edison Research, provider of Edison Podcast Metrics, the largest and most complete survey of podcast listening, announced today that it has developed a complementary service to count downloads for participating publishers. After months of research, Edison is utilizing a new method for determining U.S. downloads that does not employ a redirect nor involve delivery of log files.

“We have developed an elegant new solution that will enhance our unique Edison Podcast Metrics survey,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin. “While our survey of 20,000 podcast listeners each year provides the most complete look at the totality of actual listening to podcasts, download data will provide deeper information to subscribers, especially for smaller and short-run shows.”

Edison Podcast Metrics is the only survey measurement of U.S. weekly podcast listeners currently available. It covers the entire podcasting category with data about listening, not downloading. As such, it covers listening across all platforms and cannot be manipulated. The download counts will be a supplement to the established service. “This combination, designed using input from various publishers, will make our data even richer and more comprehensive – allowing podcast producers and advertisers to have even more understanding of the space,” said Rosin.

Edison Research is an independent, third-party research supplier. It is not owned by nor affiliated with any publisher or sales house in the podcasting field. The new research will be available sometime near the end of fourth quarter.


PodcastOne Announces Unprecedented Growth in 2022



PodcastOne, a leading podcast platform and a subsidiary of LiveOne, announced today that the network has experienced unprecedented growth in 2022 across total episode downloads, YouTube subscribers, and social media engagement.

PodcastOne continues to see considerable growth in several key areas of podcast consumption and interaction through the strength of targeted and paired marketing campaigns, episodic launch strategies, and its video strategy.

PodcastOne’s dedicated YouTube channel has seen a 45% increase in views and is up 106% in subscribers in Q3 ’22 compared with total growth at 128% since the start of the calendar year.

On social media, Instagram engagement is up 13.7% over the last 90 days vs the previous 90 days and PodcastOne’s dedicated TikTok account has amassed over 1.5 million views since its inception in July 2021 giving network hosts and podcast advertisers a direct path to promote content to a dedicated fanbase.

“We’ve built a full-funnel marketing operation at PodcastOne that allows us to leverage our current podcasts to grow and launch new shows in both the audio and video spaces. Data coupled with our custom creative strategies and off-network relationships have grown our network audience exponentially and consistently lands our shows in the top 100 chart rankings,” said Ilana Susnow, Head of Marketing & Audience Development of PodcastOne.

With the success of focused marketing and creative and integrated strategies, podcast in key categories such as True Crime, History, TV & Film, Self-Improvement and Society & Culture have seen double- and triple-digit growth in audience downloads. Successes include:

Trust Me, which has grown a remarkable 85% in audience since the beginning of the year.

Cold Case Files has expanded to two weekly episodes due to the overwhelming demand for content. Each week, fans are now treated to an original episode as well as a classic episode replay.

The Dr. Grundry Podcast has shown a 30% uptick in listeners since the beginning of 2022.

American Nightmare Season 2 has relaunched as part of the strategy to launch Season 3 with double digit downloads.

The Prosecutors recently debuted a spin off show, The Prosecutors: Legal Brief, in the wake of the success of its 14% episodic audience growth since onboarding with PodcastOne in January 2022.

“We were getting a few thousand downloads an episode when we first started PodcastOne, and our audience has grown significantly and continues to grow since. Cross-promoting our show with other related shows has been critical for that growth, as well as generally having a team that cares about reaching the right audience and making sure our content is valuable for listeners,” said Lola Blanc, creator and host of Trust Me.

Additional strategic marketing successes include:

Our Fake History has experienced a 25% increase in audience sizes since January 2022.

The Jordan Harbinger Show has had a 25% increase in episodic downloads numbers.

Melissa Gorga On Display and Kail Lowry’s Coffee Convos have each grown over 125% in August alone with On Display climbing to #19 on the All Categories chart on Apple.

Namaste B$tches from Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and co-host Melissa Pfeister debuted in the Top 100 on Apple’s top podcast chart.

Since early 2022, PodcastOne has consistently charted in the top ten of all reporting podcast networks, and Podtrac reports that the network grew from 6.148M unique US downloads in July 2022 to 7.303M downloads in August for an increase of nearly 19% in overall audience.


Acast Launches Advertiser-Owned First-Party Data Targeting Solution



Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company, today announced that for the first time ever in podcasting, advertisers can leverage their own first-party data to target high-value audiences across the Acast Marketplace.

According to research, 88% of marketers say that collectors first-party data is a priority, and brands that use first-party data for key marketing initiative see an uplift in revenue of nearly three times when compared to those that do not.

Despite the immense value of first-party data, until now brands have not had the ability to leverage these insights into podcast advertising due to the inherent scarcity of user identifier data signals across the medium.

Similar to connected TV, the podcast advertising ecosystem is a data scarce environment, with limited availability of user identifiers for inventory addressability. This has created challenges for advertisers to target podcast audiences with the same strategies they often use across other forms of media.

Acast has now solved these challenges by developing an industry-first identify graph tailored for podcasting. Through a combination of IP address, as well as other unique listening consumption signals, the Acast identity graph will enable advertisers to onboard their own first-party data and to find and match their high-value audience segments across the Acast Marketplace, creating new ways to target relevant audiences who consume podcasts.

The new Acast identity graph and advertiser first-party data onboarding solution is now available in Acast’s US and Australian markets for both direct and programmatic buys.

“We’ve created a bridge between the media buyer and podcast content supply that effectively enables brands to use the first-party insights they already have to serve more relevant ads in podcasts. It’s a massive first for the industry that not only drives revenue for brands, but creates a more enjoyable experience for listeners and ultimately increases monetization potential for podcasters – which is at the heart of everything Acast does,” said Global Head of Ad Innovation Elli Dimitroulakos.

Acast’s first-party data solution comes to market as advertisers continue to prepare for the anticipated death of the cookie and restrictions on use of mobile identifiers, which will require them to rely on their own first-party data. For podcasting specifically, this solution is particularly well-times as Wall Street analysts have recently projected the podcast advertising market to triple in value, reaching $6 billion by 2026.

The news of Acast’s first-party data targeting solution comes on the heels of the company debuting second on Podtrac’s inaugural Sales Network Ranker, which was announced last week. As a leader in podcast advertising, Acast works with more than 2,400 advertisers each year. Some of the biggest brands partnering with Acast include Amazon, State Farm, Macy’s, Ikea Klarna, Ulta, and more.

For more information on first-party data targeting please contact sales@acast.com.