Spotify buying podcast hosting and ad company Megaphone for $235M

Spotify has come under fire of late over questions around musician compensation, but when it comes to podcasting, it has money to burn. This morning, the streaming service confirmed its acquisition of Megaphone for a reported $235 million.

Launched by The Slate Group in February 2015 as Panopoly, it rebranded as Megaphone in 2019. In its original form, the company produced a number of flagship podcasts for high-profile media brands, including BuzzFeed, The Wall Street Journal and Vox. The rebranding, however, followed a shuttering of its editorial efforts to focus on back-end concerns like hosting, ad tools and distribution.

Spotify already had an existing partnership with the company, including use of its hosting services. This deal, it seems, is largely focused on the service’s ad tools. “Together, Spotify and Megaphone will offer podcast publishers innovative tools that will help them earn more from their work,” Spotify said in a press release. “This includes the opportunity to opt in to have their content monetized, matching their loyal listeners with even greater demand from advertisers.”

Megaphone is the latest in a long line of recent podcast-centric acquisitions for Spotify, ranging from tens to hundreds of millions a pop. It should go a way toward cementing the company’s long-standing dream of become one of the medium’s biggest players.

The list of acquisitions also includes content producers like Gimlet, The Ringer and Parcast, along with technology companies like Anchor. This May, it also purchased exclusivity to the immensely popular Joe Rogan Experience for more than $100 million — an acquisition that has reportedly caused some unrest among employees who have taken issue with the show’s controversial subject matter.