Medium acquires Knowable to bring audio to the platform

Medium announced today its third and final acquisition of the year: Knowable, an audio-based learning platform featuring podcast-like courses from experts like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and food journalist Mark Bittman.

Medium’s other acquisitions this year include Projector, a browser-based graphic design tool, and Glose, a social book-reading app.

As the podcasting and live audio industries expand, Knowable will help Medium cater to people seeking audio education. Warren Shaeffer, co-founder of Knowable, will join Medium as the vice president of Audio, and the rest of the Knowable team will follow. Shaeffer told TechCrunch that the Medium and Knowable teams have already begun working together on complementary initiatives and will share more details in early 2022.

“Publishing on Knowable gives experts and thought leaders — including those already on Medium — an easy way to add a new, monetizable format to share their work,” Shaeffer told TechCrunch. “Knowable lessons sit between social audio, which is largely ephemeral and non-monetizable, and podcasts and audiobooks, which are far more labor-intensive. Knowable handles the heavy lifting on the production side to help its creators sound great, even if they’re audio newbies.”

Image Credits: Knowable

Knowable launched in 2019 with funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront, First Round and Initialized — the platform charged $9.99 per month for access to more than 100 courses, though in celebration of the acquisition, its prices have dropped to $25 annually through the end of the year. Per the acquisition, Knowable will remain a standalone platform, but Knowable might be included in future Medium subscription bundles.

“The number one reason that people say they listen to podcasts is to learn new things, and Knowable and Medium are pioneering a new audio experience to better serve this need, for both creators and listeners alike,” Shaeffer said.

Knowable takes applications from experts and thought leaders to build a course — if accepted, the Knowable team works with them to develop a course. Knowable shares 30% of quarterly revenue and 30% of all referred memberships with published creators.