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Festival streamer LiveXLive to acquire PodcastOne

Digitally focused live entertainment group LiveXLive has announced its acquisition of Courtside Group, the owner and operator of podcasting network PodcastOne.

The all-stock deal – worth an estimated US$18.1 million based on LiveXLive’s share price ($3.32) at market close yesterday (7 May) – sees LiveXLive acquire a company that boasts more than two billion podcast downloads annually produces over 350 episodes per week. PodcastOne’s roster of creators includes Shaquille O’Neal, Adam Carolla, TI, Mike Tyson, Dr Drew and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.

With the acquisition, LiveXLive, best known for its livestreaming of music festivals, becomes the latest live entertainment business to buy into the growing podcast market, with UTA an investor in US podcast hosting platform ART19, while companies including Kilimanjaro Live and Podcast Live organise live shows featuring podcasters in the UK.

“PodcastOne’s well-established podcasting business is an excellent complement to LiveXLive’s  ‘live social music network’”

“All of us at PodcastOne are excited about joining the LiveXLive team, and taking advantage of obvious future synergies between our businesses,” says PodcastOne founder Norman Pattiz, who joins LiveXLive as a “significant” shareholder. “I look forward to working with [CEO] Rob Ellin to close the acquisition and achieve the growth we both envision.

“PodcastOne is a premium producer, distributor and revenue generator for audio-on-demand programming. PodcastOne’s well-established podcasting business is an excellent complement to LiveXLive’s  ‘live social music network’, delivering premium livestreams, digital audio and on-demand music.”

In addition to its live streams from festivals and concerts, where its partners include Rock in Rio, Montreux Jazz Festival and EDC Las Vegas, Nasdaq-listed LiveXLive produces its own original music content; owns ticketing company Wantickets (now apparently defunct), management firm LXL Influencers and digital radio business Slacker; and is partnered with China’s Allied Esports.

 


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Senior UK radio execs launch Podcast Live

A new venture producing live shows by popular factual podcasters, Podcast Live, launches today in the UK.

Podcast Live – led by Heart FM founder and former LBC boss Phil Riley (chairman) and British Podcast Awards creator Matt Deegan (creative director) – will stage interactive versions of some of Britain’s leading podcasts in front of a live audience. Events will be both single and multi-day, covering topics including politics, sports, lifestyle and health/wellness.

The other co-founders are finance director Michael Connole, formerly of Chrysalis Group and Global Radio, and John Myers, ex-CEO of Guardian Media Group Radio.

The first Podcast Live Event will take place on 7 April at the Light (1,000-cap.) at Friends House in London, and feature ten politics-themed podcasts, including Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith’s For the Many, Matt Chorley’s the Times Red Box, James Delingpole’s the Delingpod, How I Found My Voice by Intelligence Squared and anti-Brexit show Remainiacs.

“I’m thrilled that Podcast Live is going to help push the medium further”

“Podcast Live is an exciting new concept, allowing creators to feed off a live audience as well as giving fans a chance to meet their favourite hosts in the flesh,” says Riley. “Demand for amazing podcast content is soaring and I’m thrilled that Podcast Live is going to help push the medium further.”

Deegan adds: “We know the most successful podcasters want to do more for their audiences. Podcast Live will be an easy way for them to put on live shows up and down the country.

“As well as meeting their own fans, it will expose them to new audiences and provide creatives with an additional revenue stream.”

Several live music businesses are investing in podcasting, including UTA, which partially owns ART19, and promoter Kilimanjaro Live, which seeks to grow its live podcast output.

 


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UTA invests in podcasting start-up ART19

United Talent Agency (UTA) and VC firm DCM Ventures have invested in ART19, a podcasting tech company which has raised US$7.5 million in a new funding round.

DCM, which has been rapidly buying up ticketing companies in China, and booking powerhouse UTA join German conglomerate Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (the co-lead investor with DCM), Array Ventures, software developer Gallo Digital and entrepreneur Zach Coelius in the series-A investment, which DCM’s Jason Krikorian recognises ART19’s having “taken the [podcasting] space by storm”.

Arizona-based ART19, which describes itself as the “fastest-growing provider of podcast hosting, distribution and ad-serving technology”, helps brands and media clients, including iHeartMedia, The New York Times and Vox Media, to target and connect with podcast listeners. It anticipates growing revenue by 300% in 2017.

“There are now more people listening to podcasts in the US than using Twitter”

“There are now more people listening to podcasts in the US than using Twitter,” comments Sean Carr, the company’s founder and CEO. “Our mission is to offer content creators and advertisers tools that help monetisation of the medium catch up with that scale. This capital will enable us to greatly accelerate product development and continue supporting revenue growth for our customers.”

Krikorian adds: “Audio has extraordinary global reach, and if there’s one thing we know about consumers, it’s that they want their content on demand. This bodes well for the future of podcasting. ART19 has taken the space by storm and we’re thrilled to be working with them as the medium continues to mature here and abroad.”

 


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