Entercom Communications has reached deals to acquire a pair of podcast firms, part of the radio giant’s plan to create a “powerhouse podcast division.”
Under the agreements, Entercom will acquire podcast producer Pineapple Street Media, as well as the remaining stake of podcast studio and distributor Cadence13, which Entercom previously acquired 45% of two years ago.
While terms of the deals were not disclosed, Wall Street Journal reports that Entercom is ponying up $18 million for Pineapple, and that its deal for Cadence13 values the company at nearly $50 million.
Entercom will bring both New York-based podcasting companies under its Radio.com website and app, and Pineapple Street Media will be renamed Pineapple Street Studios. The acquisitions position Entercom among the country’s top three podcasters, after NPR and iHeartMedia.
“With these important acquisitions, Entercom will stand as a unique leader in the audio universe with both the greatest collection of premium, original local audio content along with arguably the best national podcast content,” said Entercom CEO, chairman and president David Field. “We are well positioned to participate in the exciting audio renaissance and the powerful opportunities to work with our thousands of customers across the country on their increasingly important audio strategies.”
Based in Philadelphia, Entercom claims to reach a monthly audience of 170 million listeners per month; podcast episodes published or distributed by Entercom, Cadence13 and Pineapple Street were downloaded more than 150 million times per month in the second quarter of 2019, according to a press release.
“It is an exciting day for all lovers of audio,” said Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley, adding that the acquisitions will “further strengthen Radio.com’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in the U.S.”
Pineapple Street Media is known for such podcasts as true-crime show The Clearing, which recently launched as the No. 1 podcast on the Apple Podcasts charts, along with HBO’s The Chernobyl Podcast and Running From Cops. Meanwhile, Cadence 13’s podcast slate includes Root of Evil, Pod Save America and Malcolm Gladwell‘s Revisionist History.
Leadership teams at Pineapple Street and Cadence13 will continue to head operations under Radio.com, reporting to Crowley. That includes Pineapple Street co-founders Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky, as well as Cadence 13’s CEO Spencer Brown, chief content officer Chris Corcoran and president John Murphy.
Entercom’s spending spree marks the latest major U.S. audio company to invest in the podcast market. Last September, competitor iHeartMedia acquired HowStuffWorks podcast parent Stuff Media. And after acquiring Pandora, SiriusXM created the streaming platform’s first ever content team earlier this year, tasked with creating original podcast content, among other initiatives.
Meanwhile on the streaming front, Spotify announced plans to spend up to $500 million on podcasting back in February — and now owns podcasting firms Gimlet Media, Parcast and Anchor — while Apple Music is reportedly funding Apple-exclusive podcasts.