To continue the revolution of podcast advertising, Spotify announced the company’s acquisition of Podsights and Chartable. Spotify believes these two podcast technology companies will help them continue to modernize podcast advertising. Podcasts, a podcasting measurement service, helps advertisers measure and scale their podcast advertising. Chartable, a podcast analytics platform, helps publishers understand and grow their podcast audiences through metrics and insights. Terms of the two deals were not disclosed.
“We believe we’re still in the early chapters of digital audio and the opportunity for advertising in this space remains significant,” said Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer at Spotify, in a statement. “Our acquisitions of podcast technology players Podsights and Chartable are important steps in our pursuit of taking digital audio to the next level, underscoring the powerful impact it delivers for advertisers and publishers, respectively.”
Podsights is an industry leader in podcast insights, empowering brands and agencies to make smarter podcast advertising decisions through attribution and performance measurement that helps them validate and scale their digital advertising. Publishers use Podsights to grow their audiences and take advantage of monetization opportunities for their podcast content. Podsights uses a subscription model, offering plans for advertisers starting at $900 a month and for publishers starting at $965 a month.
Podsights CEO Sean Creeley shared his excitement in a February 16, 2022 blog post:
“Today is a point in the timeline of Podsights. It’s not the beginning and is nowhere near the end. We started Podsights to grow podcast advertising, and based on our numbers, we’ve made meaningful headway towards that goal. Podsights has worked with over 1,200 brands, the majority new to podcasting, to measure and scale their advertising. In Q4 of last year alone, we measured 3.4 billion impressions, approximately $85 million in advertising spend. From small DTC shops to the largest brand advertisers, podcasting has consistently been valuable to any media mix,” said Creeley.
“Tomorrow is business as usual. Brands and agencies can continue to use Podsights to measure the success of their podcast media spend across every network, publisher, and independent podcaster. Your data is still your data, and Podsights can only use it to perform attribution. You will continue to work with the same Podsights partnerships and success teams independent of their Spotify counterparts. Over time, we plan to layer in Spotify’s technology and intelligence to make the service even better,” Creeley added.
Spotify says that two key pain points for podcast advertisers are measurement and attribution. They acquired Podsights to help address those challenges, helping advertisers better understand how podcast ads drive calls-to-action. Spotify will also use Podsights measurement tools across their platform for audio ads within streaming music, video ads, and display ads.
TechCrunch reports that Podsights has 40 full-time employees who will join Spotify as a unit.
According to Chartable’s website, the company serves 1.1 billion+ downloads per month for brands, agencies and publishers including iHeartRadio, VoxMedia, Wondery, TeamCoco, Axios, Pacific Content, Cadence 13, and others. They offer a wide range of podcast analytics options. For publishers, pricing starts at a free version and goes all the way up to an Enterprise level product. Plans include IAB-certified analytics, team collaboration, chart rankings and reviews, Chartable Connect Verified Profile, SmartLinks, and privacy compliance.
Dave Zohrob, co-founder and CEO of Chartable, shared the news in a February 16 blog post.
“Harish (Agarwal) and I started Chartable because we believe podcasting is a powerful, important, and undervalued medium—one that’s been held back by a lack of data. We saw this firsthand when we launched our Hacker Daily podcast—recording each episode in our closets—almost 4 years ago. The data gap between podcasting and other digital media absolutely shocked us. Without quality data, it was hard for creators to grow their audiences and hard for advertisers to determine if their ads were actually working,” Zohrob wrote.
“Over the last 4 years, we’ve made great strides in closing that gap. Chartable has always innovated first and foremost for podcast publishers. In the last month alone, we analyzed over 2 billion downloads, serviced 2 million SmartLink clicks and measured over 600 million SmartPromo impressions. With Spotify and Megaphone’s technology and intelligence in hand, Chartable can now bring more accurate, actionable insights and tools to podcast publishers around the world,” said Zohrob.
Spotify said that the acquisition of Chartable will help enhance the capabilities of two other acquisitions – Megaphone (purchased for $235 million in 2020) and Whooshkaa (acquired earlier this month). Together, the tools will help publishers better utilize audience data to grow their audiences and their businesses. TechCrunch says that the Chartable team, with only 11 employees, will also be absorbed by Spotify with no immediate changes planned.
Not only will these key acquisitions help Spotify make it more attractive to advertisers and publishers, but it also takes a little heat off Spotify which has been in headlines lately over a controversy involving Joe Rogan and Neil Young. Joe Rogan is the host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” for which he is paid more than $200 million in a multi-year deal, according to The New York Times. The controversy, which caused Young to pull his music from Spotify, involves Rogan’s spreading of COVID vaccine misinformation and usage of racial slurs and making jokes about sexual exploitation. “The Joe Rogan Experience” is Spotify’s biggest podcast in the United States and 92 other markets, says The Times. The acquisitions are newsworthy on their own, but they will be more noteworthy as the podcast advertising challenges improve and Rogan’s latest exploits fade into the background.