Spotify in talks to buy podcasting company Gimlet Media – reports

Spotify is at the negotiating table, with a view to potentially buying a significant podcasting production company.

New York-based Gimlet Media, which was founded in 2014, closed a Series A funding round of $6m in December 2015, valuing the company at $30m.

Then, in 2017, the firm took on two more rounds of investment. The first came in August that year – a Series B led by Stripes Group, which injected $15m into Gimlet and valued it at around $70m.

The second, for $5m, came a month later from British advertising firm WPP.

According to both Recode and the Wall Street Journal, Spotify is currently in discussions to potentially buy Gimlet, which creates podcasts such as Startup, Crimetown and The Pitch.

Recode is reporting that Spotify plans to pay more than $200 million to buy Gimlet.

Gimlet Media was co-founded by Alex Blumberg, a radio journalist, as well as a producer for This American Life, and the co-founder of Planet Money.

His co-founder at Gimlet is Matt Lieber, a former radio producer at WNYC who previously worked as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.

Spotify has gotten into podcasts in a big way over the past year.

In August last year, it locked down a new series of The Joe Budden Podcast – a very popular cast for hip-hop enthusiasts.

In the same month, Spotify debuted its first ever brand-partnered, first-party podcast series – the five-episode ‘Ebb & Flow’ hosted by Jasmine Solano and sponsored by New Amsterdam Vodka.

In June last year, Spotify announced a deal to bring comedian Amy Schumer’s ‘cast, 3 Girls, 1 Keith, to its platform.

Speaking to MBW on a call ahead of Spotify’s Q2 earnings in July last year, the firm’s CFO Barry McCarthy commented: “The opportunity and the challenge [with podcasts] is to take all the insights we have into listener taste to unlock the world of podcasting; if we do that I think there’s an opportunity for it to become significant part of the overall audio mix.

“The bigger the percentage of [our] mix, the bigger the margin opportunity to be had.”

Gimlet Media featured as a partner on Spotify when the music streaming platform launched multimedia format Spotlight early last year.

At the time, Matt Lieber, co-founder and President, Gimlet Media said: “We’re excited to see partners like Spotify investing in podcasting to enhance the audience’s experience of our storytelling.

“Everything at Gimlet begins with audio, and with Spotlight, through new visual expressions of shows, we hope to reach new listeners in fresh and original ways.”

[Pictured: Gimlet Media co-founders Matthew Lieber and Alex Blumberg]Music Business Worldwide

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