Tag Archives: LibSyn

Libsyn Acquires Podcast Monetization Platform Glow



Liberated Syndication Inc. (Libsyn) announced the acquisition of Glow, a leading podcast monetization platform that enables podcasters to build membership programs and generate listener-supported revenue. Glow’s membership technology, which includes private feed distribution and subscription billing, will allow podcasters on Libsyn’s 75,000+ podcasts to benefit from new monetization features and tap into significant new revenue streams.

Libsyn will integrate Glow as part of its hosting and monetization platform, in the future making it simple for customers to begin generating membership revenue in addition to leveraging Libsyn’s existing hosting, analytics, and monetization product suite. Libsyn-hosted podcasters will be able to easily experiment with and charge for premium content, accept secure payments and distribute the content to listeners in their podcast player of choice. They will also have the option to accept donations from listeners, using the same seamless Glow payment system.

“Libsyn saw the potential of podcasting before almost anyone else, and once again, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of a wave of podcasters who will generate revenue largely from their listeners,” said Libsyn President Laurie Sims. “As shown by our recent acquisition of AdvertiseCast, monetization for podcasters is becoming increasingly important, and Glow will help expand Libsyn’s positioning with podcasters who seek to monetize their content and build direct relationships with listeners. We are thrilled to be working with the team at Glow to bring its tools to Libsyn’s customer base.”

“Our mission at Glow has always been to empower creators, and Libsyn has been at the forefront of that movement for over 16 years,” said Amira Vallani, Glow’s founder and CEO. “This acquisition represents a big step in listener-supported podcasts moving into the mainstream and unlocking new dollars to support the ecosystem. We’re excited for Libsyn to be the steward of Glow’s product going forward.”

Podcasters on Libsyn will be able to begin taking advantage of new membership offerings in the coming months as part of the Libsyn 5 platform. However, hosting on Libsyn will not be required to utilize Glow. Libsyn plans to support all podcasts with monetization efforts regardless of where they host, enabling current Glow customers to continue to generate membership revenue without interruption.

As part of the transaction, the Company did not acquire the growth platform Refer-O-Matic, which Vallani and her team will independently focus on under the Creator Machines entity.


Liberated Syndication Announced Agreement to Acquire AdvertiseCast



Liberated Syndication Inc. (Libsyn) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AdvertiseCast LLC, one of the largest independent and fastest-growing podcast advertising companies. The combination of Libsyn’s 75,000 podcasts and AdvertiseCast’s premier advertising capabilities will accelerate revenue opportunities for podcast creators and provide advertisers with significant new inventory. The acquisition will position Libsyn to be the leading platform for both hosting and monetization.

“I am thrilled to announce this acquisition. AdvertiseCast is a market leader in the podcast advertising space that will fit perfectly with our existing Libsyn 5 hosting platform. Since we began in 2004, our primary objective at Libsyn has been to enable independent podcasters by providing them with a strong set of tools to help them thrive,” said Libsyn President Laurie Sims. “AdvertiseCast expands our tool set to include a robust monetization solution that enables efficient host-read and programmatic advertising. We expect to generate meaningful revenue by offering the AdvertiseCast solution to Libsyn’s customers and leveraging the combined inventory to attract even more advertisers to the AdvertiseCast platform.”

Founded in 2016, AdvertiseCast’s self-serve marketplace enables podcast advertising for over 1,500 active mid- and large-tier podcasters currently on its network and allows advertisers and agencies to efficiently buy and manage advertising campaigns in the podcast sector. Since inception, AdvertiseCast revenue has grown rapidly, increasing 45% year over year in 2020 to approximately $12 million. AdvertiseCast has scaled profitably since inception with no outside investment.

AdvertiseCast Co-Founders Trevr Smithlin and Dave Hanley commented, “We founded AdvertiseCast with a podcast publisher’s mindset and believe it is a perfect fit with Libsyn’s creator-centric ethos. Given the large growth in the podcasting market, we felt this was the perfect time to join forces with Libsyn in order to accelerate the growth of our business. As a leader in the podcast hosting space, Libsyn has a world-class podcast hosting platform that will deliver meaningful inventory to our podcast advertisers. Advertising is still a very under-penetrated segment of the podcast market, and we believe we are strongly positioned to ride the advertising wave with Libsyn’s support.”

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Libsyn will acquire all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of AdvertiseCast in consideration for a purchase price of up to $30 million, of which $18 million will be in cash, $10 million will be in newly issued Libsyn shares, and $2 million will be in the form of an earn-out, which is subject to the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement. Co-Founders Trevr Smithlin and Dave Hanley will remain with the company and enter into employment agreements as a condition to closing. The acquisition’s closing is subject to other customary closing conditions.

Libsyn is also pleased to announce it has received funding commitments of $25 million through a privately placed equity transaction (“PIPE”) in Libsyn. The financing will be led by existing shareholder Camac Partners, LLC and new shareholder Hudson Executive Capital LP, among other existing and new investors. Proceeds of the PIPE will be used primarily to fund the AdvertiseCast acquisition and to provide Libsyn with additional capital for other strategic acquisitions. The closing of the PIPE is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur concurrent with the closing of the AdvertiseCast acquisition in Q2 2021.


Liberated Syndication Announces Launch Partnership with Samsung



Liberated Syndication (“Libsyn”) announced its partnership with Samsung to help bring podcasts under the “Listen” Tab within the Samsung Free application. Samsung Free is available on compatible Samsung Galaxy devices. The “Listen” tab will be available with an update to compatible Galaxy S21, Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy Note 10 series starting today in the United States. Libsyn podcasters can add their shows to Samsung Free on a limited basis at launch, with expanding access over the coming weeks.

“Providing podcasters with access to the newest platforms offering podcasts is critical to promoting audience growth,” said Libsyn President and Chief Operating Officer, Laurie Sims. “We are excited about the relationship with Samsung and the opportunity to expand access to podcasts on Samsung Free and all of Libsyn’s 75K+ podcasters.”

“The past year we have all seen a shift in where and how we consume media,” commented Vice President of Podcaster Relations Rob Walch. “Having native support for podcast discovery and consumption on the Galaxy series will give consumers even more choices and opportunities to consume podcasts and that is a win for everyone.”

“With podcasts growing in popularity, they serve as a source of news, information and entertainment for millions of Americans,” said Avner Ronen, Vice President, Product Development at Samsung Electronics America. “We are thrilled to partner with Libsyn and their broad network of podcast syndication and development so Galaxy customers in the U.S. Can enjoy easy access to their vast collection.”

Podcasting has experienced a surge in popularity on numerous fronts. German consumer data firm, Statista forecasts the number of podcast listeners to surpass 160 million in the United States alone, by the year 2023. “It is paramount that our hosted podcasts are available for consumers through all of the fastest-growing and accessible mediums,” Sims added.


Libsyn Announced Acquisition of Auxbus Podcast Creation Platform



Libsyn announced the acquisition of the Auxbus podcast-creation software platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The web-based Auxbus is designed to save podcasters time, while producing professional-quality podcasts that are easy for even the most novice audio creators. Auxbus guides first-time podcasters through planning and creating their content. Auxbus hold proprietary, patent-pending technologies that automatically complete and distribute finished, polished podcasts in moments.

Auxbus features include:

  • Content guide that answers podcasters’ questions, includes links to learn more, and provides playable examples;
  • Show organizational tools to save users time on every episode, including writing show descriptions, uploading artwork, and creating reusable intros, outros, and calls-to-action;
  • Easy recording with any microphone: professional XLR, USB, wired and built-in;
  • Automatic episode assembly and sound leveling for high-quality episodes, fast; and
  • A selection of built-in music, or users can upload their own.

Libsyn provides its podcasters with a professional platform that are available everywhere podcasts are played. Auxbus will continue to operate independently within Libsyn, and its features and technologies are expected to be integrated into the Company over time.

Auxbus Chief Engineer and system architect, Ryan DuVal, will join Libsyn to lead its newly formed Creation product line. Auxbus founder, Dan Radin, will provide transitional and strategic consulting services to Libsyn.


Clarification is Always a Good Thing



Things move really fast in the podcasting industry – and outside of it. The speed of information makes it difficult for many of us to figure out what really happened. People sometimes make mistakes, misunderstand what was said, or fail to clearly state what they intended to say. When this happens, clarification is always a good thing.

It appears there has been some confusion about what Rob Greenlee (VP of Libsyn’s Content and Partnerships) said when he was interviewed on Season 1, Episode 6, of Podland News, which is hosted by James Cridland (editor of Podnews) and Sam Sethi (editor of Sam Talks Technology).

On January 7, 2021, Podnews posted an article titled: “Greenlee to step down as Podcast Academy Chair”. The article includes the following: Speaking on an episode of the Podland podcast to be released later today, Rob Greenlee has announced he is to step down as Chair of the Podcast Academy this month, as part of significant changes in the board of governors. “The board has decided to re-elect all new officers,” he explains.

The article goes on to state: Greenlee also announced in his Podland interview that Libsyn has decided not to support the new Podcasting 2.0 namespace at this time. Podnews posted a link to their article on Twitter on January 7, 2021.

In response, Rob Greenlee tweeted: “To clarify, I did NOT step down from thepodcastacademy.com Board or Chair role. The board elected ALL New Officers yesterday, is true that a New yet unannounced Chairperson has been selected. I remain in the TPA Board of Governors”.

The Podnews account responded by tweeting: “Rob’s exact words – “I’m actually going to be stepping down from the Chairpersonship this month” – at podnews.net/listen. We highlighted new board was being set up. We believe we reported this story accurately.”

On January 7, 2021, the Libsyn’s Twitter account tweeted: “Context” (with a smiling face emoji after it) and a link to Libsyn’s blog post titled: “What did Rob Greenlee Say?

Here are some key points from the blog post:

  • …Some recently published statements regarding Rob Greenlee about Libsyn’s support of the Podcast Index and his involvement in the Podcast Academy may have left some people thinking otherwise. We want to clear them up.
  • …It is important to distinguish between being supportive of the Podcast 2.0 namespace through conversation and advocacy, and integrated support of it’s associated tags on Libsyn.
  • In Rob’s own words in the excerpt below from Podland, you can see our team is supportive of the work they are doing. “And, and I think that as a team, we are very supportive of what Adam is doing over there, with trying to come up with some new ideas in the medium. And I do believe that we will probably ultimately wind up, supporting most, if not all, of what’s going on over there.”…
  • … The second headline that was reported on Rob Greenlee regarding the Podcast Academy was that he was stepping down as the Podcast Academy Chair. While this is an accurate excerpt from a statement from Rob Greenlee, it could be misleading in the spirit of what the Podcast Academy is doing and Rob’s level of involvement going forward.

Libsyn’s blog post included a response the headline by Podnews. The response was from Michele Cobb, Executive Director of The Podcast Academy: “The leadership change was a planned event and each year we will be appointing new officers at the January meeting (with a new term of February). And starting in 2022, we will be transitioning from the Founding Board of Governors to an elected board from the membership. Rob Greenlee continues as an active member of the board and an important part of helping us to grow and improve”.

In response to Libysn’s tweet, the Podnews Twitter account responded: “Grateful for this response. We believe we covered these stories accurately and do not believe we took any statements out of context. Clarification is always a good thing though.”


Libsyn Appointed a New Chief Financial Officer



Liberated Syndication announced the appointment of Mr. Richard P. Heyse as Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Mr. Heyse will be responsible for finance, strategic planning, treasury, tax and accounting and will be based at the Company’s offices in Pittsburg, PA.

Mr. Heyse takes over for Mr. Gabriel Mosey, who has served as interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2019, and will remain with the Company as Corporate Controller.

Mr. Heyse brings 35 years of financial management, capital markets and operational experience in both public and private technology companies. He has successfully served as CFO of three publicly-traded companies, with considerable expertise in business planning, strategy execution, operational optimization, budgeting, SEC compliance, and financial reporting.

Most recently, Mr. Heyse served as an interim CFO or consultant for a number of private companies. Previously, Mr. Heyse served as Chief Financial, Risk and Compliance Officer at Wesco International, Inc. (WCC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer at Innophos Holdings, Inc. (PHS) in Cranbury, New Jersey (where he coordinated a NASDAQ IPO); and as Business CFO – Chemicals Division at Eastman Chemical Company (EMN) in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Mr. Heyse has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

Liberated Syndication also announced that long time Chief Executive Officer Chris Spencer has informed the Board of his decision to step down as CEO and Board Member, effective as of August 5, 2020. The Board of Directors will immediately begin a global search for a new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Spencer has served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from the Company’s formation via a spin-off in 2016. Mr. Spencer led the Company to profitability and guided it through the successful acquisition of web hosting company Pair Networks in late 2017. Mr. Spencer was CEO and Founder of Liberated Syndication’s predecessor company, Wizzard Software, in 1996.

Under the leadership of Spencer, Libsyn has successfully increased revenues to over $20 million, expanded its customer base to over 100,000 monthly subscribers at Libsyn and Pair Networks, serving over 130,000,000 audience members monthly, while completing several strategic partnerships and acquisitions.


Libsyn Announced Launch of Latinx Initiatives



Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) announced a series of Latinx initiatives beginning with The Latino Podcast Listener Report, conducted by Edison Research and commissioned by Adonde Media, Lantigua Williams & Co., Libsyn, NPR, and Pandora. The results of the study will provide valuable insight and serve to further the conversation about Latinx podcasters and their audience.

Libsyn will continue the conversation beginning in July with a series of events to further discuss the results and create awareness around Latino podcasts.

“We are excited to share the data from the Edison report and explore the opportunities to create community within Latinx podcasting and specifically Spanish language podcasts,” remarked Elsie Escobar, Libsyn’s Community Manager. “At Libsyn, we have always tried to empower more voices outside of traditional media. What we learn from the listener survey will be valuable in attracting Latinx podcasts and audiences.”

During the month of July, the Rockin’ Libsyn Podcasts feature will highlight Spanish speaking podcasts. This series shares podcasts on the Libsyn platform in a Question and Answer format that provides valuable insight from their professional podcast producers to further empower the community.

Libsyn is also pleased to host several key guests to speak in more detail about the Latino Podcast Listener Report, Tom Webster, Senior Vice President of Edison Research will be a guest on the July 14th, Episode 172 of The Feed: The Official Libsyn Podcast.

Additionally, co-sponsors of the research report Juleyka Lantigua Williams, CEO of Lantigua Williams & Co. and Martina Castro, CEO of Adonde Media, will join Libsyn’s Community Manager and She Podcasts‘s co-founder Elsie Escobar to follow up on the study’s results.


Libsyn Added Headliner Integration



Libsyn has added Headliner integration in Libsyn Platform 4.23. Lisbyn added Headliner integration after many users asked for it.

Headliner is an awesome web app that allows you to import your media into their system and generate nifty video clips that can include all kinds of features such as wave forms, text, colors, and even transcription. You can download the video to use as you wish, or have them send it off to places like Facebook for you.

This new integration will appear as a widget right on your dashboard so you’ll see it when you log in. Pick the episode you want to send and off to Headliner you go to finish out your clip!

Libsyn users need to be aware that Headliner currently only supports MP3 and M4A files.

There is a helpful FAQ for those who want to learn how to use Headliner. Here are a few key pieces of information from the FAQ:

Any plan at Libsyn, from their $5 plans on up, have full access to Headliner integration.

The free account offers up to 10 video clips created each month. After 10 clips, additional clips will be watermarked with a Headliner watermark. Transcription is included. Social media distribution is included. Videos exported up to 1080p resolution.

The Headliner Pro account runs $12.95 per month and is billed through Headliner (not through your Libsyn account). This gives you everything available in the free account, removing the 10 video clip limit and adding the ability to use your own custom watermarks. It also gives you access to stock images and video, reusable templates, intros and outros, custom font support and priority customer service.

There are higher tiered accounts available as well, depending on you needs, but to reiterate, the Libsyn integration will work with any Libsyn plan level and any Headliner plan level.


Libsyn is IAB V2 Certified



Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) announced that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab has officially certified the Libsyn podcast statistic metrics.

The IAB Tech Lab Compliance Program ensures adherence and compliance with the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines V2 for reporting podcast downloads, impressions, and listeners. These guidelines establish a common set of metrics for podcast measurement and a base set of principals for the industry to adhere to.

Podcast advertising has faced challenges due to a lack of uniformity in measurement systems and metrics. Meaningful industry-wide measurement has been difficult to achieve due to an inability to connect, track, and analyze user requests; measurement processes that use dissimilar, proprietary algorithms; and a lack of agreed-upon set of metrics and their definitions. With the Podcast Measurement Compliance Program, the IAB Tech Lab seeks to ensure these common challenges are addressed.

“While we had updated our statistical analytics in late 2017 to best match up with these guidelines, we felt it was important to be officially certified as compliant with the IAB V2 guidelines,” said Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations. “As we enter the 2020 yearly advertising buying season, this official certification will give advertisers the reassurance and confidence in our numbers that they need to place orders with Libsyn hosted podcasts.”