Entercom (NYSE: ETM), home to premium podcast companies Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, today announced the acquisition of Podcorn, the largest marketplace for brands to find and collaborate with the most relevant podcasters to create native advertising and branded content at scale. The transaction values Podcorn at $22.5 million today, with an upfront cash payment of $14.6 million and a performance-based earnout over the next 3 years.
“The acquisition of Podcorn expands Entercom’s product offering for advertisers and builds on our position as one of the country’s three largest podcast publishers and the #1 creator of original, premium audio content,” said David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom. “By making it easier for brands to collaborate with targeted podcast creators of all sizes, we are addressing an important market opportunity in the fastest growing segment of media.”
Podcorn’s marketplace includes nearly 40,000 creators and has facilitated thousands of podcast ad campaigns. Podcorn creates an infrastructure for enabling direct podcaster and advertiser relationships, surfacing the most relevant matches to scale native branded content, drive higher ROI for brands, and enhance how podcast creators monetize their content. Podcorn was founded by Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski following the successful acquisition by Google of their previous company FameBit, the leading marketplace for video influencers where brands and YouTube stars collaborated for branded content. Kozera and Kierzkowski will continue to lead Podcorn, joining Entercom’s leadership team.
“Given the success that podcasters and brands have seen on Podcorn, we’re excited to join Entercom’s growing audio platform to accelerate our vision and help brands and podcasters succeed in an even bigger way,” said Agnes Kozera, Co-Founder, Podcorn. “Together, we hope to provide the most effective podcast influencer marketing solution for brands and become the largest driver of brand deals for podcasters of all sizes.”
The acquisition fills an industry-wide gap in helping brands of all sizes tap into the hard-to-access micro-influencer community. Podcorn offers highly immersive, native formats for brands to authentically reach engaged audiences, such as host reads at scale as a way to maintain and elevate rate and ROI, and drive podcast market growth. The marketplace connects advertisers to podcast creators through workspaces where they can craft the ideal relationship and explore deeper formats including reviews, unboxings, guest interviews, panels and topical discussions, which provide true listener value. While Podcorn provides brands with a self-serve platform, it also offers a full-service option that unlocks more managed support and consultation to help them accelerate, curate and manage their podcast campaigns to exceed their KPIs.
Podcorn’s marketplace of niche creators will complement Entercom’s existing critically-acclaimed roster of the largest and most influential podcasts, while helping it identify talented new creators. With Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, Entercom is one of the three largest podcast publishers with the industry’s most award-winning, critically acclaimed content, and consistently has the most shows ranked in the top 100 on Triton’s U.S. Podcast Report.
“Introducing Podcorn’s marketplace of nearly 40,000 creators to our robust podcast audience network will enable advertisers to target the right listeners with the most effective media available to brands today – custom, host-read, branded audio content at scale,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Entercom.
Podcasting has been steadily expanding and diversifying programming – and widening audiences – consistently in the past decade. There are now more than 2.5 million podcasts, 60% of which were created in the past two years.
“Remarkably, only a fraction of podcasts generate revenue. We want to change that,” said Crowley. “Bringing together independent creators, chart-topping talent and advertisers under one roof, and providing the tools to streamline collaboration, transparency and efficiency provides greater value for advertisers, creators and listeners alike.”