Spotify buys scripted entertainment podcast studio startup Parcast

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Spotify has announced plans to acquire Parcast, a scripted entertainment podcast studio – the streaming giant’s third podcast pickup so far in 2019.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Spotify expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2019. Parcast had not raised any outside funding; founder and chairman Max Cutler and his father, radio producer Ron Cutler, were the only investors, according to a report in Podcasting Business Journal.

The acquisition of Parcast comes after Spotify last month paid around $337 million to buy two podcasting companies: producer Gimlet Media and service provider Anchor FM Inc. Spotify told investors it plans to invest between $400 and $500 million in podcasting this year.

Parcast, founded in 2016, has launched 18 premium podcast series so far and has more than 20 shows in development that are expected to launch later this year. The startup focuses on the mystery, crime, sci-fi and historical genres – with an audience that is over 75% female. Parcast’s lineup of original shows includes “Serial Killers”, “Unsolved Murders”, “Cults”, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Mind’s Eye”.

Los Angeles-based Parcast operates two studios and has about 20 employees. According to Spotify, Parcast will continue to operate as a standalone studio.

“Adding Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff when the deal was announced. . “Crime & Mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base.”

“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and struck a chord with mystery and true crime fans, especially women, in all 50 states and around the world. We are proud to join the world’s most popular subscription audio streaming service and have access to one of the largest audiences in the world,” Parcast’s Cutler said in a statement. “Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow and amplify the unique, bespoke content brand we create is brimming with fantastic possibilities.”

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