Spotify and Amazon each considering takeover bids for UK podcast firm Audioboom (report)

Two giants of the audio streaming world, Spotify and Amazon, are each considering takeover bids for UK podcast firm Audioboom.

That’s according to a report published by Sky News on Sunday (February 13), which states that the two companies have been “exploring bids” for the London-listed firm “in recent weeks,” and that a decision could be made by each on “whether to make formal offers as soon as this month”.

Skys’ report adds that its source has “cautioned that a formal approach from the two digital giants could yet fail to materialise”.

A formal offer from SPOT or Amazon for Audioboom, if either party does decide to do so, won’t be the first acquisition offer received by the podcast firm.

In July last year, investment firm All Active Asset Capital (AAA) made a takeover offer, which was ultimately withdrawn (in September).

Audioboom, which has a market cap of over £275 million (approx $372m),  reports that its shows are downloaded more than 116 million times each month by 32 million unique listeners around the world.

The firm’s Audioboom Studios division produces audio content such as Dark Air with Terry Carnation, F1: Beyond The Grid, RELAX!, and Covert.

Led by CEO Stuart Last, Audioboom operates globally, with operations and global partnerships across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

A formal acquisition offer from Spotify would tie into the company’s billion dollar podcast strategy, which has seen it ink a number of exclusive podcast deals, and swoop for several podcast firms, the most of recent of which was Australia-based podcast technology platform, Whooshkaa (in December).

Other podcast companies acquired by Spotify include the likes of Gimlet Media and Anchor, for $343 million, back in February 2019, as well as Parcast, The Ringer, Anchor FM and Megaphone.

Amongst Spotify’s exclusive podcasts are the Joe Rogan Experience, which the firm signed a $100 million deal for in May 2020 and. (A number of artists, led by Neil Young, requested to pull their music from the service in recent weeks due to controversial content broadcast by Joe Rogan).

At the end of Q4 2021, Spotify had 3.6 million podcasts on the platform (up from 3.2 million at the end of Q3).

Spotify rival Amazon Music launched podcasts in the UK, US, Germany and Japan, across all tiers of service in September 2021.

The platform’s podcast offering includes original shows produced exclusively for Amazon Music and hosted by the likes of DJ Khaled, Will Smith, Dan Patrick, Becky G, and others.

Amazon Music announced in December 2019 that it had signed an agreement to acquire Los Angeles-based podcast firm Wondery, which makes and produces well-known shows like Dirty John, Dr. Death, Business Wars, and The Shrink Next Door.

The announcement confirmed a rumor published in the Wall Street Journal that same month, which suggested Amazon was set to acquire Wondery at a valuation for the podcast firm of over $300 million.Music Business Worldwide