The dynamic podcast market will see an acquisition next month.
LiveXLive Media plans to acquire Courtside Group, owner and operator of PodcastOne, in a deal valued at $18.1 million. The deal is expected to close soon. PodcastOne leader Norm Pattiz will stay on in an executive role.
PodcastOne produces shows like “A&E’s Cold Case Files,” “The Adam Carolla Show” and “The Big Podcast With Shaq.” It says it generates 2.1 billion downloads a year and produces 350 weekly episodes. The company reported gross revenue of $27.5 million last year.
According to Robert Ellin, chairman and CEO of LiveXLive, this move will complement its music platform of streaming audio, on-demand video and live event performances. LiveXLive Media’s offerings include LiveXLive, a “live social music network” consisting of streams and on-demand programs from festivals like Rock in Rio and the Montreux Jazz Festival. In addition, LiveXLive plans to integrate PodcastOne into its music platform.
According to the two companies, 32% of Americans are now listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, with advertising revenue projected to surpass $1 billion by 2021.
The exact path of consolidation of the companies, both headquartered in Los Angeles, is to be announced. They did say that PodcastOne will bring in an experienced ad sales team, tripling the size of the LiveXLive sales force. However it also looks like there will also be cuts: “Planned consolidation of teams is anticipated to generate cost synergies and combine back-end support and office locations.”
The companies announced that PodcastOne’s founder and its executive chairman, Norm Pattiz, will join LiveXLive as a “significant” shareholder and remain as executive chairman of PodcastOne. Pattiz is best known as founder of the Westwood One radio network.
Under the terms of the agreement, LiveXLive will acquire 100% of the equity interests of Courtside Group and issue to stockholders of PodcastOne approximately 5.45 million restricted shares of LiveXLive’s common stock.