Tag Archives: Acast

Acast Secures Exclusive Deal with The Irish Times Podcasts



Acast has signed The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading independent and trusted source of news and journalism, to its network of publisher partners. The exclusive partnership with Acast supercharges The Irish Times’ audio strategy by enabling the publisher to distribute its expanding podcast portfolio to every listening platform, as well as generating revenue through the Acast Marketplace with dynamically inserted ads and programmatic buying.

The Irish Times taps into a weekly audience of one million people across its digital content and print newspaper. Committed to engaging and broadcasting its audience, as well as strengthening its compelling and distinctive journalism, The Irish Times is investing in such formats as podcasts to serve the changing needs of its readers.

By partnering with Acast, the publication can focus on making the podcasts, while Acast handles the rest – hosting, distributing and monetizing its shows to reach new audiences and unlock new revenue streams. The publisher will also get access to Acast’s powerful analytics tools, to help understand all aspects of its listenership.

On May 24, 2021, The Irish Times launched its newest podcast, In The News. Hosted by journalists Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope, the show takes a closer look at the stories that matter in Ireland and around the world.

In The News will be published in the morning, initially launching with two episodes per week on Mondays and Wednesdays, but with the aim of increasing this frequency in the months ahead. The goal is to bring a broad range of its journalism to listeners in an accessible, entertaining and authoritative way.

Liam Kavanagh, Group Managing Director at The Irish Times, said: “Our objective is to build the largest possible audience, bringing our trusted journalism to more people in new ways, and working with the world’s leading podcast platform gives us the best possible opportunity to do that.”

“The Irish Times has long been one of the most innovative news organizations in Ireland, jumping into podcasts before many others,” said Jennifer Dollard, Senior Content Development Manager at Acast Ireland. “Counting its podcasts as part of our growing publisher network is a landmark moment for Acast, both in Ireland and globally – we can’t wait to work with its exceptionally talented team.”

The Irish Times is part of the Acast Creator Network, and its shows – including In The News – are available on every podcast listening app, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify. Brands and agencies looking to advertise in The Irish Times’ podcasts can do so exclusively through the Acast Marketplace.


Acast Signs Tortoise Media to Host and Distribute Slow News Podcast



Acast has signed Tortoise Media, to its network of publisher partners which includes the BBC, the Guardian, Financial Times, Economist, gal-de and Hearst.

The partnership with Acast will enable the fast growing audio-first media platform to distribute its journalism podcasts, including The Slow Newscast and Sensemaker, to every listening platform, and monetize its content for non-members through dynamically-inserted ads and sponsorship through the Acast Marketplace.

Tortoise Media launched in 2019 with a slow news approach to journalism with a membership-subscription model, focusing on the in-depth stories that really matter – in the UK and around the world.

Its slate of podcasts launched with the weekly Slow Newscast, hosted by former Guardian and HuffPost journalists Basia Cummings. The podcast takes a considered approach to news podcasting and is Tortoise’s flagship podcasts.

More recently, at the start of 2021, Tortoise launched Sensemaker, a daily news podcast that examines one story every day to help listeners make sense of the world. Episodes typically run for five minutes and distal topics such as the race for Covid-19 vaccines into digestible podcasts that can be listened to in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Tortoise studios is headed up by Ceri Thomas, former Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Panorama, and Basia Cummings, former Editor at The Guardian and HuffPost. Its four part series My Mother’s Murder was recently number one in Apple’s UK News category and The Slow Newscast was one of Spotify’s favorite new shows of 2020.

“As an audio first publisher Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism,” said Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Media and Co-Head, Tortoise Studios. “We’ve seen a significant rise in listeners of our podcasts in recent months. I look forward to building on our success and unlocking our audio strategy as a new revenue stream through Acast’s bespoke podcast monetization model.”

“Tortoise Media is one of the most exciting news organizations in the world right now, and its approach to the newsroom is exceptional, especially at a time where it’s critical to take stock and consider the facts of an unravelling story,” said Sam Shetabi, director of UK content at Acast. “Adding Tortoise to our growing number of publisher partners strengthens our growing journalistic podcast offering, and is indicative of the flexible and powerful podcasting solution Acast offers publishers for hosting and monetization.”


Acast Australia Releases Sounds Smart Report



Acast, Australia’s biggest creator-first platform for hosting, monetizing and distributing podcasts, saw an incredible reaction to podcasts in 2020, growing listens to its content in Australia by 54%, with a 144% increase in the number of podcasts joining its platform globally. As a preferred advertising channel, Acast Australia has recorded a 200% increase in ad revenue year on year since 2017.

Now together with research agency The Lab and Nature, Acast surveyed over 2,500 Australians of which 1,000 are active podcast consumers. The research will help establish the current state of play when it comes to audio and podcasting in Australia.

The findings reveal:

  • Australians are listening more than ever before. In the past three months over a third of Australians (37%) have tuned into podcasts, and podcasts are set to grow even further as more than half (56%) of those surveyed intend to listen more in the future.
  • Podcast audiences can only be reached via podcasting. 90% of podcast listeners pay for a premium music streaming service (with no advertising), whereas over half (56%) listen to commercial-free radio. The data highlights the unique opportunity of podcasting with an audience that can’t be reached via commercial radio and streaming services.
  • A medium that genuinely connects. 93% of people listen to podcasts on their own, creating an unrivaled connection between podcast content and the listener. 80% said podcasting content aligns to their passions and 78% said podcasting provides content that they want to dedicate their attention to.
  • A preferred advertising medium. Only 17% of Aussies believe podcast advertising is not relevant to them. Almost half of respondents (49%) said that they pay more attention to advertising when it’s read by the podcast host.
  • Pre-covid commuter pastimes shifts to daily routine. Beginning March 2020, peak daily listen periods shifted from early morning and evening to steadier, more consistent listening throughout the day. Reflective of where listening takes place, the majority of respondents listen while walking (54%), driving (54%) and during housework or gardening (43%).

“There’s no question that podcasts have carved out a unique, influential and sizable space in the audio landscape in Australia,” said Henrik Isaksson, Acast’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. “We know podcasting has become a vital part of consumer life, and a channel considered in all marketing strategies for brands. But now this has been further cemented by the first-hand research we’ve conducted with the Australian public – further positioning podcasting as a medium that now provides fantastic reach and very effective advertising opportunities.”

Acast Marketplace, the podcast buying platform globally that connects advertisers and podcasters also allows for an in-depth look at advertising spend. Data shows a record-shattering year for Acast, recording a 40% global growth in the number of new advertisers, solidifying podcasts’ position as a valuable channel.


Acast Acquires RadioPublic



Acast announced the acquisition of RadioPublic, a US podcast technology start-up founded in Boston, Massachusetts. The acquisition will boost Acast’s presence in the US and further develop its world class tools and talent. RadioPublic’s Listener Relationship Management platform, which allows podcasters to foster even deeper relationships with fans, is at the heart of the acquisition.

The deal comes off the back of several important moves for Acast in the Americas, including its recent collaboration with leading member platform Patreon – which enables podcasters on the platform to distribute private, patron-only content to their listeners’ podcast app of choice – as well as the hiring of Heather Gordon as its new managing director for Canada, and the launch of Acast in Mexico last year.

Leandro Saucedo, Acast’s Chief Business and Strategy Officer said: “The acquisition of RadioPublic is fundamentally a partnership of values. We both firmly believe in the open ecosystem of podcasting and have a shared commitment to aid listener discovery and support all creators.

“We’re impressed with what RadioPublic has achieved and we believe that now – as podcasting is gaining more momentum than ever before – is the ideal time to bring RadioPublic’s talented team and company missions into the Acast fold. This deal continues our quest to support all audio storytellers around the world, giving their stories the audience they deserve.”

Along with a suite of industry-leading tools including the Listener Relationship Management platform — which helps podcasters identify potential new listeners, gain interest in their shows, and connect with fans — the acquisition also sees RadioPublic co-founders Chris Quamme Rhoden (CTO) and Matt MacDonald (Chief Product Officer) join the Acast team. Co-founder and CEO Jake Shapiro has joined Apple Podcasts as Head of Creator Partnerships.

Chris and Matt have more than a decade’s experience in podcasting as part of PRX’s pioneering tech team, where they helped build the first generation of podcast listening apps for This American Life and WNYC. At RadioPublic, Matt and Chris led the development of the innovative suite of Listener Relationship Management platform products including Podsites, HearMarks, PodPass, and RadioPublic’s popular web embed player, iOS, and Android apps.

MacDonald added: “I’m thrilled to scale up how we’ve helped podcasters grow their audience and make more money now that we’re working with the talented, global team at Acast. There’s such strong alignment between the Acast and RadioPublic philosophies in our mutual support for — and belief in — a financially healthy, robust, open podcast marketplace. It’s exciting to think about bringing our insights and growth marketing tools to a large community of global podcasters.”

RadioPublic was launched in 2016 with backing from a range of institutional and strategic investors, including Project 11, The New York Times, TechNexus, Automattic, Bose, GBH, American Public Media, PRX, and the Knight Foundation. The acquisition will not affect RadioPublic operationally and it will remain functional without change.


Acast to Host Free Virtual Workshop for LGBTQ+ Podcasters



Aclass: Queer Voices, a free workshop for new and aspiring podcasters in the LBGTQ+ community, will take place on Zoom on Thursday, February 25, from 6:30 – 8:30pm GMT. Anyone can sign up to get a secure spot.

Hosted by Acast, the power source of podcasting globally, Aclass: Queer Voices is the latest in the company’s Aclass event series; created to celebrate and amplify voices from underrepresented communities in podcasting, and enable the next generation of podcasters.

The event is being held during LGBT History Month, an annual month-long celebration and observance of LGBT history and the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements. Acast believes podcasts are uniquely able to amplofy underrepresented voices, and those that are less heard in other mainstream media. Open-to-all and with low-barriers to entry, Acast wants to encourage LGBTQ+ creators to share their story through thought-provoking conversation, interviews, comedy, history, politics, and so much more.

Joining Acast at the workshop is critically acclaimed comedian Suzi Ruffell, and host of Out with Suzi Ruffell; a podcast about the inspiring lives of LGBTQ+ people, featuring guests such as Joe Lycett, Gok Wan, and Steph McGovern. As well as Shivani Dave, BBC presenter and producer of The Log Books: a podcast that explores Britain’s queer history through the records from the LGBT+ helpline Switchboard, and the winner of Best New Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2020.

“Aclass helps to adapt the podcast landscape for the better, by giving new podcasters the insider tips and tricks we’ve learned from years of experience supporting and nurturing audio creators,” said Sam Shetabi, Content Director at Acast. “It’s especially exciting to launch our next Aclass during LGBT History Month alongside Shivani Dave from The Log Books on the panel – the show is a graduate of our very first Aclass in 2019, and we couldn’t be prouder that a podcast that celebrates Britain’s LGBT+ history earnt such incredible acclaim. Both Shivani and Suzi are outstanding creators, and we’re excited to welcome them at Aclass: Queer Voices, for LGBTQ+ storytellers to learn and be inspired.”

Aclass will take place virtually on Zoom, Thursday February 25, from 6:30 – 8:30pm GMT. To register attendance, sign up here.


Patreon and Acast Collaborate to Make Private Podcast Distribution



Patreon, the world’s leading creator membership platform, and Acast, the podcasting giant, have joined forces to make patron-only podcast content available to listeners across all of the major podcast platforms.

This unique collaboration enables podcasters on Patreon to distribute private, patron-only content to their listeners’ podcast app of choice – including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Pocket Casts, Overcast, the Acast app, and more. The integration allows podcasters to publish content via a private patron-only RSS feed, and with a plan upgrade, enables them to manage both their public and private feeds from the same place. Podcasters will also have access to data and insights about their listeners.

“At Patreon, we’re fostering an ecosystem where creators can connect more deeply with their audiences, and ultimately change the way their creativity is valued,” said Brian Keller, director of creator success at Patreon. “Patreon and Acast have a shared mission to be one of the largest creator categories on Patreon, our work with Acast makes it easier than ever for podcasters to cultivate their communities by delivering content to their most passionate fans, wherever they like to listen.”

Secure, patron-only podcast feeds

Acast’s proprietary ‘Access’ technology enables Patreon creators to supply patrons across different membership tiers with highly secure, unique, patron-only podcast feeds, reducing the risk of piracy and ensuring their patron-only content remains exclusive. Patrons are seamlessly authenticated according to their Patron membership tier, through any podcast app that supports secure RSS feeds.

Podcasters can also easily encourage fans to become patrons by directly linking to their Patreon membership directly from the public episode notes, and new patrons are seamlessly guided back into their listening experience once they’ve joined.

Advanced audience analytics

Patreon podcasters can manage both free and patron-only content across all of their different Patreon membership tiers via a single dashboard, while Acast provides creators with its industry-leading podcast analytics as the only podcast company with all four measurement standards compliant with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Patreon podcasters now have more clarity over who is listening and engaging with their content, with robust data and insights about all of their content, including listener demographics, audience growth, performance insights, listenership by podcast app, and more.

“All creators should be able to reach the audience their content deserves, and to be fairly compensated for that,” said Leandro Saucedo, chief business and strategy officer at Acast. “Alongside Patreon, we’re taking our biggest step to date in our mission to support the global creator community, helping podcasters get their content out to more people. Creators thrive in an ecosystem where they can freely create, connect with their audiences, and make a living from their work across any platform — and this collaboration is all about supporting and enabling that.”

The technology will be launched for all Patreon podcasters this month, and follows a private beta that several high-profile creators — including Sleep With Me, 90 Day Gays, and other notable podcasters — participated in over the past few months.


NOVA Entertainment and Acast Announce End of Partnership



NOVA Entertainment and Acast announced the end of their partnership, with both companies set to pursue broader business ambitions.

NOVA and Acast have enjoyed a successful three-year partnership with NOVA representing and selling Acast’s audio-on-demand inventory in the Australian market since 2017.

Effective from Monday 7 September, both businesses will manage sales of their respective podcasting inventory in-house.

Henrik Isaksson, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at Acast, said: “As the local podcast industry continues to go from strength to strength, now is the time for Acast to be an independent player, to offer further podcast-specific strategy, insight and reach opportunities to brands and agencies.

“NOVA has been an incredible partner to work with and we leave on really good terms. The split is simply about the incredible growth of the podcasting market and the huge opportunity Acast can offer to brands both in Australia and globally.”

Peter Charlton, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “Our partnership with Acast has delivered in all the ways the right partnerships do – insight, experience and importantly, shared success. There’s a lot to be proud of, but now’s the right time for us to build on that foundation independently.

“As in everything we do, NOVA has big ambitions to further develop our digital audio offering, and the work we’ve done with Acast stands us in good stead to realize those. It’s an exciting time, and I wish Henrik and the team the very best.”


Acast Adds Open Podcasts to the Acast Marketplace



Acast announced that any show on its Acast Open platform can now apply to be part of the Acast Marketplace. This means any Acast Open podcast can now request that dynamically inserted ads run throughout its episodes, with the potential to generate revenue from ad impressions.

Now, any podcaster subscribed to Acast Open’s paid tiers can apply to join the Acast Marketplace and, if approved based on suitability, will have ads dynamically inserted across their back catalogue and future episodes. They’ll also be able to choose exactly where in each episode they want the ads to run dynamically, helping ensure a great listener experience.

Acast, which was founded in 2014, invented true dynamic ad insertion (TDAI) technology that has gone on to become the gold standard in podcasting. With TDAI, each time a person listens to a podcast, a set of individually adapted ads are placed into the episode in real time – geo-targeted and local to the listener’s market. That means two listeners may hear different ads, even if they’re listening to the same episode, at the same time, in the same place.

This technology also means advertisers can easily replace campaigns running across thousands of shows with up-to-date messages, and has quickly seen Acast build a reputation as both the creator and advertiser’s platform of choice. One of the most attractive things for podcasters is the ability to instantly monetize their entire back catalogue of episodes, no matter how long a show has been running, through dynamically inserted ads.

Any podcaster opting into ads on Acast Open will receive monthly payouts, depending on the number of times an ad is served to a person listening to their show (each time is known as an ‘ad impression’). Acast sells ads on a CPM (cost per mile) basis, with ad impressions measured in line with strict guidelines set out by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) – and is the only podcast company certified against all four of the IAB’s measurement metrics.


Acast has Partnered with JioSaavn



Global podcast giant Acast has partnered with JioSaavn, South Asia’s largest audio streaming platform, to enable it to leverage Acast’s extensive global network of shows. The partnership expands JioSaavn’s content offering exponentially, providing access to Acast’s infrastructure and latest advances in podcast technology.

The clear appetite in South Asia – shown through JioSaavn’s existing 104 million+ Monthly Active User (MAU) base – is paramount to Acast’s understanding of the huge opportunity for podcasts in the market. And Acast and JioSaavn will align on one central mission, to popularize podcasts in South Asia.

The companies’ aim is to educate listeners on both the merits of podcasts – including the flexibility to listen anywhere at any time – and the opportunity they provide to share culturally diverse, compelling content with global voices.

The infrastructure of the partnership provides a platform for Indian voices, enabling new independent podcasters to produce content, and connects JioSaavn with Acast’s large collection of global publishers including The Guardian, The Economist, Financial Times, BBC, VICE, PBS NewsHour, The Times, and many more.

Acast and JioSaavn believe connecting South Asia to this content in particular – already generating 200+ million listens on a monthly basis in Europe and North America alone – will help both expand such content beyond borders, and encourage and provide publishers with the opportunity to reach new audiences and create bespoke content with them in mind.

Over the next two months the full effect of Acast and JioSaavn’s partnership will be visible, with Acast’s content appearing in full through JioSaavn.