Tag Archives: Acast

Acast Prepares For Profitable Growth – Intends To Reduce Workforce



Acast AB (publ), the leading podcast platform and pioneer in the open ecosystem for podcasts, improves the path to future profitable growth by reviewing its organization with the intent to reduce its cost base. After an intensive period of product development and investments, focus will shift towards the creation of profitable growth in line with the company’s updated financial goals – which were presented in the report for the second quarter. The cost reductions imply a decrease of the current workforce by approximately 15 percent.

“Our strategy is based on bringing together advertisers with podcast creators via our platform and delivering the absolute best podcast offering. We have been working hard for several years to develop our product to enable a seamless process for onboarding of new podcasts, as well as developing market leading advertising targeting within episodes, which is now bearing fruit. We will continue to prioritize long-term investments in both market operations and product development, but with an organization that is adapted to a new phase for the company,” says Ross Adams, CEO of Acast.

In connection with the report for the second quarter, Acast presented new financial targets, which means that the company brought forward the goal of reaching positive EBITDA in 2024 instead of sometime during 2024-2026.

“In our last report, we made it clear that we have reached a turning point where we, from the current market situation, will gradually improve the EBITDA margin to profitability in 2024. This is mainly driven by the fact that we are leaving a period of heavier investments behind us, and at the same time see that we can increase our internal efficiency significantly without compromising on the quality of our delivery,” says Emily Villatte, CFO and deputy CEO of Acast.

In light of the above, Acast will initiate deliberations during September.

On October 4, Acast welcomes analysts, owners and investors to a webcast capital market update where the company’s strategic agenda for the next few years is to be presented. More information and an invitation will be published shortly.


Acast+ Now Supports One-Time Payments



Acast has expanded its Acast+ monetization options to allow podcasters to recieve one-time payments, in addition to recurring subscriptions. This new functionality gives podcasters added flexibility in the paid-for content they can offer their listeners through Acast+ – opening up possibilities such as one-off episodes or series, without requiring listeners to commit to ongoing payments.

Acast+, which fully launched in January 2022, allows podcasters to offer premium, exclusive benefits to paying subscribers – from ad-free streams to early access, bonus episodes and more. With the addition of one-time payments, Acast+ now supports creators with even more ways to monetize both new and existing content.

One-time payments are perfect for creators looking to test their audience’s appetite for premium content, podcasters whose shows are seasonal in nature, and those who want to create evergreen content – such as limited series or one-off episodes. This feature also enables podcasters who aren’t ready to commit to an always-on subscription offering to still earn revenue from paid-for content – an option especially important for creators who take holidays or artistic breaks.

Stacey Goers, Senior Manager, Product at Acast, said: “Since we launched Acast+, podcasters have been asking for a more flexible entry point – especially to trial Acast+, without needing to commit to creating bonus content for long term – and, with one-time payments, we’re able to give it to them.”

“We look forward to seeing podcasters launch new offerings using one-time payments. Whether you have a health podcast and want to launch a companion audio course, or want to package together your interview podcast’s greatest hits, one-time payments can really be whatever a podcaster wants them to be.”

Acast+ is generating new revenue streams for podcasts of all sizes, across the globe. Success stories have included thousands of subscribers signing up the Swedish documentary podcast, Sorry, Everything Went To Hell, and Ireland’s weekly The Tommy, Hector, and Laurita Show. This July, podcast heavyweights WTF with Marc Maron, Shagged. Married. Annoyed, and, RHLSTP with Richard Herring have also unveiled their own Acast+ tiers.

Acast+ allows podcasters to make money from podcast subscriptions and premium content, enabling them to develop closer relationships with their audience. Fans can listen to this content in nearly any podcast app they choose and enjoy additional benefits like Q&A’s and members-only communities. To learn more and to launch your Acast+ subscription now, go to http://acast.com/podcasting/start-podcasting.


Podchaser Makes It Difficult For You To Remove Your Podcast



As you may have heard, Podchaser has been acquired by Acast. It is entirely possible that your podcast – or some of its episodes – has been sucked into Podchaser without your knowledge or permission. I recommend you check on that.

I found Shattered Soulstone, the podcast that my husband and I have been working on for years, on Podchaser. Neither one of us was contacted by Podchaser when they decided to grab not only our episodes but also the data it generates.

In an article written by Paul Sawers (TechCrunch) he wrote:

…While Podchaser will continue as a separate brand and business once the acquisition closes, Acast said that it plans a “deep integration” of Podchaser’s data, giving its customers “authoritative, structured, metadata.” Indeed, while Podchaser is a consumer-focused platform in terms of how it aids discoverability, it’s also a utility for advertisers and marketers, as it allows them to find the most suitable podcasts to sell their wares to. Targeted advertising will play an important part of the fast-growing podcasting industry, and its partly why Acast is bringing Podchaser under its wing — Podchaser delivers additional data points spanning demographics, consumption, reach, and “favorability”.

Personally, I don’t want Podchaser to grab the data from my podcast and hand it over to advertisers – for the advertiser’s benefit. I don’t want Podchaser to collect data about my listeners, who have never given Podchaser permission to track them.

There is an Help article on Podchaser titled: “Requesting Removal of Podcasts from Podchaser”. The line under that title says: “Can I delete my podcast from Podchaser?”

The Help Desk person wrote this: “Podchaser is the world’s most comprehensive podcast database that strives to present an accurate representation of podcast information past and present. This visibly allows podcasters big and small to gain new listeners and monetization opportunities.”

It also says: “If you would like to request the removal of your podcast, please fill out this form”. (The word Form has a link attached).

I filled out the form, and waited, but nothing changed. Another problem appeared. In order to remove your podcast you have to “claim” it as the owner. Doing so does not allow you to remove your podcast. I think it’s there to annoy podcasters in the hopes they will give up trying to remove their podcast from Podchaser.

One option is to allow Podchaser to access your Twitter account and let you log in that way. I highly recommend you DO NOT allow it to access to any of your social media accounts.

The image above says: Authorize Podchaser to access your account?

This application will be able to:

  • See Tweets from your timeline (including protected Tweets) as well as your Lists and collections.
  • See your Twitter profile information and account settings
  • See accounts you follow, mute, and block
  • Follow and unfollow accounts for you
  • Update your profile and account settings
  • Post and delete Tweets for you. and engage with Tweets posted by others (Like, un-like, or reply to a retweet, etc.) for you.
  • Create, manage and delete Lists and collections for you
  • Mute, block, and report accounts for you

I found this to be incredibly troubling! It sounds like if you give Podchaser access to your Twitter account – you pretty much lose control of your Twitter. There’s another thing like this if you want to give Podchaser access to your Facebook account.

I ended up making an account on Podchaser, in the hopes doing so would make it easier for them to hear me. It doesn’t. Instead, I got sent emails about their latest updates, etc, – which is not at all what I want.

When this didn’t work, and days of waiting for a response from Podchaser, my husband Shawn (editor of Shattered Soulstone), had to create his own Podchaser account, claim the show, and then fill out another form requesting that Shattered Soulstone to be removed. There is a spot on the form that asks: “Why do you want your podcast removed?” He wrote: “Don’t want to contribute to your data harvesting business.”

That was on July 30th. We are still waiting to have the show removed from Podcaster. There has been no follow up at all, for either of us. Podchaser may have originally added Shattered Soulstone from a public API. But, they should honor requests to have shows removed.


Acast Announces Ad Sales Agreement With The New York Times



Following a successful start to its ad sales deal monetizing The Daily from The New York Times in the U.K., Acast – the world’s largest independent podcasting company – will be monetizing even more of The New York Times Company’s iconic podcasts within the U.K. – including the ever-popular This American Life, and the groundbreaking Serial.

While the ad sales agreement only began last month, The New York Times is further tapping into Acast’s experience in the marketplace and opening up more of its podcast inventory within the UK.

Hosted by Ira Glass, This American Life is a long-running weekly public radio show that takes one key theme impacting society today – including politics, science, culture and much more – and tells it through the words of people who were there. In 2020, The New York Times struck a strategic alliance with This American Life, including ad sales representation.

Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koning. U.K. advertisers will now be able to access all three seasons of Serial, plus additional shows from Serial Productions including Nice White Parents and The Trojan Horse Affair.

Joe Copeman, SVP of Global Sales, Acast: “Advertisers in the U.K. can now buy space across an unbeatable package of The New York Times’s podcasts, including some the giants of the game in Ira Glass and Sarah Koenig – whose voices people immediately associate with voices people immediately associate with hit shows. By adding these to The Daily, buyers can now access more than 500,000 weekly listeners in the U.K.


Just Sleep Joins The Acast Creator Network



Just Sleep, the popular sleep podcast, has joined the Acast Creator Network.

Being told you have a voice that could send someone to sleep can go one of two ways. For a motivational speaker, it’s not great news – but for podcast host Taesha Glasgow, sending people to sleep is her job.

In 2021, Taesha launched Just Sleep – Bedtime Stores for Adults. Originally as a sleep aid for her husband, the idea was straightforward: Taesha read a short story, recording using a simple microphone and her smooth, calm voice gradually helped her husband fall asleep.

It worked, and Taesha developed the format, recruiting her now well-rested husband to edit the show, and has since released more than 130 episodes that have racked up more than four million downloads.

Just Sleep will be supported by Acast’s range of monetization and growth options – with a focus on sponsorship and direct listener support through Acast+ subscriptions.

Taesha Glasgow, host of Just Sleep, said: “The podcast started as a personal project but has grown dramatically. I get messages almost every day from listeners that struggle with insomnia and the show has become part of their nightly routine. Now working with Acast, we will help even more people around the world fall asleep faster and sleep better.”

Sam Shetabi, Creator Network Director, UK at Acast, said: “We’re seeing a growth in creators developing wellbeing podcasts and sleep aids like Just Sleep, because podcasts are the perfect companion to help calm our busy minds – and Taesha has created the best podcast to help wind down and fall asleep. It’s already a firm favorite at Acast, and we’re looking forward to helping her bring her podcast to new listeners around the world.”

Just Sleep – Bedtime Stories for Adults is now available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Samsung Free, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.


Regional Managing Director, Acast UK & Ireland Named As Josh Woodhouse



Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company, announced Josh Woodhouse’s appointment as Regional Managing Director of Acast UK & Ireland.

Having been Acting Regional MD since Georgie Holt moved across the business earlier this year to become Regional Managing Director of Acast Americas, Woodhouse – previously UK Director of Sales – now assumes the role full time. Leo Goldingham, previously a UK-based Group Business Director, will now step up to Director of Sales for the UK.

Woodhouse, who has been with Acast for five years, started his career at Bauer Media Group and has also previously worked at Pearl & Dean. Goldingham, who has been with Acast for the same length of time, was previously at Global and Wireless Group and will now lead Acast’s sales team for UK.

Oskar Serrander, Acast’s Chief Operations Officer, said: “The UK is home to some of the biggest podcasters and is one of our best-performing marketplaces globally. Josh has been key to our growth over the past five years, and – after an extensive search for Georgie’s replacement – it became clear to us that the best person to lead Acast forward in the UK was already here.

“Promoting from within is something we strongly believe in, and that’s also why promoting Leo to a leadership role in this priority market also made a lot of sense. Both are well-respected, much-loved members of the UK team – and pillars of the creative, high-achieving and fun culture we’ve worked hard to build.”

Woodhouse said: “It’s safe to say that Acast has been a hugely important part of my life for the past five years, and to formally step into the Managing Director role for the UK and Ireland is a dream come true. It’s a really special place to work, not just for the incredible work we do with our podcasters and advertisers but for the culture we’ve built and sustained, despite our unprecedented growth and the pressures and challenges that can bring to a business.

“I’ve spent the past five years driving Acast’s commercial team in the UK and I can safely say that Leo is the right person to take over in this role as Director of Sales. I can’t wait to see how Leo can take the UK sales team to new heights, delivering market-leading campaigns for our advertisers and helping our creators to make a living from their hard work.”

Goldingham added: “Acast’s mission is to help podcasters make more money – and, as Director of Sales, my priority will be to improve revenue performance so our podcasters can continue to make the great content their listeners love. The UK sales team is exceptional and it’s a great honour to lead them in delivering excellence to advertisers, facilitating a healthy podcast ecosystem that allows our creators to thrive.”

Acast is home to some of the biggest and most iconic podcasts in the UK, including Shagged. Married, Annoyed; The Rest is Politics; My Dad Wrote a Porno; and That Peter Crouch Podcast. Acast also works with publishers such as the Financial Times, the Guardian, The New York Times and The Economists to host and monetize their podcasts in the UK and further afield.

Elsewhere in the UK business, Lorna Byrne and Emma Morrisroe have been promoted to Group Business Directors, after consistent exceptional performance, with team leadership responsibilities overseeing sales, with both media agencies and direct-to-brand clients.


45% Of Podcast Listeners Started Listening To Podcasts In The Past Year



Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company has unveiled the results of new podcast listener research conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. The study of 2,002 UK and Irish adults who consume podcasts at least monthly found that 45% of listeners started listening to podcasts in the past year, proving that the podcast landscape is rich with opportunities for brands and podcasters to reach new audiences.

According to the findings, there’s also untapped potential in the younger generations – despite typically being a medium associated with Millenial audiences, 53% of 18-34-year-old podcast listeners only starting to do so in the past year. In comparison, 65% of over 55s started listening more than 12 months ago.

More than a third (37%) of respondents said they listen to podcasts every day, while more than two thirds (70%) engage with podcast content more than once a week – but listeners also said they expect to increase their podcast consumption in the next six months.

Almost a third (32%) of those surveyed said they plan to listen to more podcast during this time. That’s higher than the 25% who said they expect to increase the amount of music they stream, and the 27% who plan to spend more time streaming video content.

For advertisers, an engaged and loyal podcast audience is also one more likely to interact with brand messaging they might hear, with 62% of respondents saying they’ve taken direct action following an advert they heard in a podcast.

31% said they considered or purchased the brand/product mentioned. 26% advocated for (read/wrote/discussed positively) it, 24% followed it on social media, and 24% searched for more information.

That makes podcasts an incredibly attractive prospect for any media plan. And the listen-through rate (LTR) from respondents is equally impressive – for episode 30-45 minutes long, 41% of listeners say they listen to either “most” or “about half”, confirming pre-roll and mid-roll ad placements as great ways to reach listeners. For podcasts downloaded to a listener’s personal device, rather than streamed, 71% will listen to “all” or “most” of an episode.

Podcasts are also seen as a trusted source of information – and listeners ranked them much higher in this respect than other media platforms. According to the study, 36% trust what they hear from a podcast host when talking about a brand or company, compared to just 18% for radio.

Crucially for advertisers, podcasts have low levels of advertising fatigue compared to other types of media. The research indicates that just 29% of listeners say there are too many ads on podcasts, compared to 52% who say there are too many on YouTube, and 37% who say there are too many on Radio. Given podcasts have one of the lowest ad loads of all mediums, this provides further opportunities for advertisers to continue to build their campaigns around podcasting – and to have a greater share of voice within individual shows.

Additional key findings reveal that listeners enjoy various aspects of podcasts:

70% of listeners say they enjoy listening to guest interviews

63% of listeners say they enjoy listening to panel discussions

56 % of listeners say they enjoy listening to host banter

News, Music and Comedy content are most frequently consumed, with half of podcast listeners listening to Comedy shows every week.

“Podcasts are an increasingly important part of life and culture for listeners all around the world, and more people are discovering podcasts for the first time every year,” says Leo Goldingham, Director of Sales, UK at Acast. “We trust our favorite podcasters to entertain and inform us – just as much as we trust them to recommend brands and products we’ll enjoy.

“Podcasts have become an integral part of thousands of brands’ marketing strategies but, together with Nielsen, our research shows there are still huge opportunities for advertisers to reach untapped audiences.”


Spring And Acast Partner To Unlock Social e-Commerce For Podcasters



Spring – the industry-defining creator commerce platform – announced a new partnership with Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast company. Under a shared mission of empowering creators to make money from their own work and further engage with their audience, the new partnership allows podcasters to create their own online stores for free – offering bespoke products and merchandise to their fans.

Thousands of Acast’s podcasters can soon use Spring’s 360 commerce solution to create, promote and distribute everything from custom products and clothing to NFTs for their community of listeners. Tapping into a creator’s existing brand and fanbase, merchandise is an organic next step helping podcasters to diversity their revenue streams. As each show is unique, Spring’s extensive fulfillment network – with partners including Peitra and Bondly – allows podcasters to create bespoke products that speak specifically to their community of listeners.

A pilot program featured 11 Acast creators launching a new merchandise line and store via Spring, with participants including Goes Without Saying, Decrypt Daily, Do Go On, The Compound and Friends and other popular podcasters. Throughout the program, participants had access to Spring’s custom analytics dashboards, educational resources, and premium support channels – as well as Spring’s renowned digital products and Mint-on-Demand NFT capabilities, allowing creators to submerge themselves into Web3.

Since April, the Acast X Spring pilot has driven close to 1,000 combined product sales.

“Using Spring to create our first-ever podcast merch has been amazing. It is so user-friendly and incredibly intuitive,” say Sephy and Wing, hosts of Goes Without Saying. “The Acast x Spring partnership has helped us feel so much more confident and supported in the process of creating our merch – from designing to marketing.”

Ultimately acting as an intersection for podcasters and Spring merchandise, the trial demonstrated the potential for heightened traffic and conversion rates. Following the pilot program, Acast and Spring will build out additional functionality to enhance the creator experience across both platforms and create more opportunities for podcasters to monetize their audience.

On the new partnership, Spring COO Annelies Jansen says, “We are looking forward to commencing the program with Acast and are thrilled to have already noted such keen interest from Acast creators wanting to take part. Through this pilot, Spring will be able to track and measure creator behavior to ultimately develop partnership which will enhance creator success in the long-run. Most importantly, by working with Acast on ways to improve creator accessibilities, Spring continues to make sure the power remains in the hands of the creator at all times.”

Simon Marcus, VP of Strategy at Acast adds: “Acast’s mission is to help more podcasters make more money in more ways, by strengthening the connections between creators and their fans. Through our partnership with Spring, we’re enabling podcasters to expand their revenue base to include custom merch and creative products – putting the creator’s brand front and center. Spring shares our vision for creator success, and we look forward to seeing what our creators come up with.”

Spring’s industry-first social integrations with platforms including Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and Linktree enable creators to fuel fandom and revenue streams exponentially. The success of platform integrations resulted in explosive growth for Spring, with more than 9 million creators having signed up to the platform to build their socially integrated commerce stores as of January 2022. Currently, Spring has an average of 2,500 creators sign up to the platform every day, in efforts to diversify their revenue streams and drive community engagement.


Podcast Giant Marc Maron Joins Acast



Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast platform has entered into a three-year partnership with podcast creator Marc Maron and his podcast WTF with Marc Maron. The partnership will now be hosted, monetized and distributed via Acast, and will also be making use of the platform’s paid memberships offering, Acast+. Maron’s podcast has approximately 55 million listens per year, primarily in North America.

Maron has, since the podcast started in 2009, become a phenomenon in the podcasting world and over the years has interviewed personalities including President Barack Obama, Kate Winslet, Keith Richards, Nicole Kidman, Stacey Abrams and Robin Williams – the latter episode being inducted into America’s National Recording Registry earlier this year. Shortly after Maron launched his podcast, it established itself as one of the world’s largest and most popular shows.

This partnership means that Acast will be the exclusive host and sales partner for the podcast, its full back catalog and other related materials. WTF with Marc Maron will continue to be released twice a week and will be available to all listeners, wherever they choose to listen to their podcasts. The agreement will come into effect from July 1, 2022.

WTF with Marc Maron will also be utilizing Acast+, giving the podcast additional monetization options including Maron’s back catalog and brand new bonus content for Maron’s paying members – without restricting them to listen to their paid-for content on a specific podcast player. In addition, Acast will offer advertisers the opportunity to promote their brand to Maron’s million of listeners through both dynamic and in-episode sponsorships, plus much more.

“Entering into a partnership with the podcast giant Marc Maron is a big win for Acast and for the open podcasting landscape, as this deal guarantees that the podcast can continue to be listened to by everyone, everywhere and on their preferred listening platform. In addition to WTF with Marc Maron being one of the largest podcasts in the world, Maron is also one of the very best hosts in the business. This collaboration presents a real step forward for us in the North American market, adding millions of listens and strengthening our brand even further in the region. At the same time we will also be working with the show to increase the number of Marc Maron fans across the globe,” said Ross Adams, CEO of Acast.

“We’ve amassed an amazing catalog over the years and Acast offers us an opportunity to make it available in a way that hasn’t always been before, especially in international markets. We’ve released two episodes every week for almost 13 years and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Acast won’t stand in the way of us doing the show the way we want to do it, the way we like doing it, they way we’ve always done it. They’re excited and focused and I think the partnership will be very productive,” said Marc Maron, host of WTF with Mark Maron.

“We take great pride in maintaining the high quality and universal accessibility of WTF, and we know we are in very safe hands with Acast. We will be utilizing both their expertise and innovative technologies, such as Acast+, to ensure our podcast stays ahead of the game. We look forward to sharing more and more great content with our listeners,” said WTF with Marc Maron co-creator and producer Brendan McDonald.

The deal was negotiated by Avalon who represents WTF with Marc Maron and Marc Maron.