Saturday, February 20, 2021

Podcast Distributor Acast Buys RadioPublic

Acast, which hosts and monetizes thousands of podcasts, said it has acquired RadioPublic, a Boston-based audio startup founded by public radio organization PRX with backers such as the New York Times NYT and American Public Media.

Forbes reports the deal brings PRX’s franchises, U.S. presence, team and tech tools to Acast, while CEO and co-founder Jake Shapiro has left to become head of creator partnerships for Apple Podcasts.

RadioPublic CTO Chris Quamme Rhoden and Chief Product Officer Matt MacDonald will join Acast. MacDonald and Rhoden previously helped build the first podcast listening apps for This American Life and WNYC, before joining RadioPublic.

RadioPublic’s audience-building tools will bolster Acast’s stack of technology offerings for its podcasters, advertisers and others. The RadioPublic organization is expected to continue operating separately within Acast.

“We’re impressed by 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,” said Leandro Saucedo, Acast’s Chief Business and Strategy Officer.

Saucedo called the merger “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.”

Acast was founded in Sweden in 2014, and hosts 20,000 podcasts that reach an average 300 million listeners, and also dynamically inserts targeted advertising. Acast represents podcasts from a wide variety of creators and organizations, including the PBS NewsHour, CBC, A+E Networks, Vice, and the BBC.

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