iHeartMedia has announced plans to acquire Voxnest, a podcast and analytics organization. The acquisition will provide iHeart’s podcast infrastructure with new features including a new podcast analytics platform, enterprise publishing tools, programmatic integration and targeted ad serving for the growing podcast market.
As of press time, the terms of the acquisition have not yet been released.
With the boom in podcast consumption over the last few years, iHeartMedia said this acquisition will allow it to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale. Through Voxnest’s programmatic platform, iHeart will be able to more successfully monetize content across iHeartMedia’s podcast inventory, the company said.
According to Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia Inc., the combination of iHeart and Voxnest will ensure critical mass for the podcasting platform and accelerate its growth. “As we continue to invest in podcasting and lead the industry, we anticipate this acquisition will have an important impact on iHeart’s ability to more fully monetize its podcast inventory, and will also benefit the other podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network and the advertisers who are using it,” he said.
The acquisition of Voxnest’s technology is an important addition to the iHeart digital product ecosystem, Pittman said, which includes iHeart’s SmartAudio suite of broadcast radio advertising solutions, the iHeartRadio digital platform and the company’s position as a commercial podcast publisher.
According to iHeart, this acquisition will also allow the company to drive greater monetization for creators of podcast content — independent of wherever they currently publish their shows — by connecting Voxnest’s ad technology with multiple publishing platforms across the industry.
According to Voxnest, the advertising technology capabilities it brings to the table include dynamic ad insertion; content targeting to listeners based on demographics, territories, devices and interests; programmatic podcast buying across audio platforms; and a full podcast analytics platform.
The podcast marketplace has been fragmented, with supply and demand spread across multiple platforms, which creates scale challenges for marketers who want to buy podcasts, said Francesco Baschieri, CEO of Voxnest. Despite the significant growth of the podcast industry, podcast creators and networks have not had an effective way to fully monetize their content and brands, he said. “With this combination, for the first time there will be one podcast technology platform that can bring together all of the demand sources with the largest supplier of podcast inventory — creating the only podcast technology platform that consolidates all the podcast markets into one, making buying more efficient for buyers and sellers of podcast advertising, and creating a unique benefit for the 10,000-plus podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network today,” he said.
The acquisition is not the first time that iHeartMedia has worked with Voxnest: the media company owned a minority stake in Voxnest prior to this acquisition.