Another giant podcast buy: iHeartMedia to acquire Triton Digital for $230m

iHeartMedia has entered into an agreement with The E.W. Scripps Company to acquire Triton Digital for $230 million.

Operating in more than 50 countries, Triton Digital is an Advertising Technology SaaS platform for audio streaming, podcasting and metrics that enables publishers to monetize their audiences.

The completion of the proposed acquisition is subject to “the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval”, according to a press statement.

iHeart’s acquisition joins a tidal wave of podcast acquisitions in the music and audio space of late, with Spotify spending over $800 million on podcast-specific buyouts in the past two years.

Amazon Music recently acquired podcast production house Wondery for around $300 million, while Sirius XM acquired ‘cast platform Stitcher – also from E.W. Scripps – for $325 million in July 2020.

Triton’s two lines of business focus on advertising infrastructure and measurement, including a content delivery system that distributes digital audio streams and podcasts to listeners while inserting ads, and its measurement business, which tracks audience and creates ratings reports.

In addition to measuring audiences for customers, Triton Digital operates what it claims is “the world’s first programmatic marketplace for digital audio programmatic ad-buying and Yield-Op”, which it describes as a “Supply Side Platform (SSP) that specializes in Audio and enables programmatic audio advertising.

The acquisition of Triton Digital is the latest of iHeartMedia’s investments in the audio technology space.

Most recently, in October 2020, iHeartMedia acquired Voxnest, a marketplace for podcasts and provider of podcast analytics, enterprise publishing tools, programmatic integration and targeted ad serving.

Over the past two and a half years, the company has also acquired Jelli Inc, the technology that offers marketers a digital-compatible buying platform for broadcast radio that includes programmatic buying, data targeting and creative optimization.

In addition, Radiojar, the centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform, was acquired through iHeartMedia subsidiary RCS.

In 2018, iHeart acquired podcast content company Stuff Media in a $55 million deal. And in 2015, iHeartMedia acquired Unified, the social advertising data intelligence platform and solutions provider.

“Adding Triton Digital and its industry leading services to the iHeartMedia audio ecosystem establishes iHeartMedia as the only company with a total audio advertising technology and data solution.”

Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia

“Adding Triton Digital and its industry leading services to the iHeartMedia audio ecosystem establishes iHeartMedia as the only company with a total audio advertising technology and data solution,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc.

“iHeart, with our strong leadership position in podcasting, digital radio and broadcast, already provides cutting edge audio management, programmatic and data solutions for the broadcast radio, digital audio and podcasting industries, and this acquisition further strengthens our position as the No. 1 audio company in America and provides unique — and critical — solutions for the industry and for advertisers.”

“We are thrilled to join the iHeartMedia family.”

Neal Schore, Triton Digital

Neal Schore, CEO of Triton Digital, said: “We are thrilled to join the iHeartMedia family.

“We remain deeply committed to providing the world’s broadcasters, podcasters, and online audio publishers with continuously innovated, best-in-class solutions and services for online audio management, advertising, and consumption data, and are well positioned to enhance iHeartMedia’s value proposition to audiences and advertisers.”Music Business Worldwide

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