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BBC and Acast to partner on international podcast deal

PRESS RELEASE — May 1, 2018

New York NY, USA; London, UK—The BBC today announces that audio and voice technology company Acast, has been named as its official partner to lead on the commercialisation of BBC podcasts and audio outside the UK. The deal marks the first time the BBC has offered advertising around its podcast portfolio.

The BBC began producing podcasts in 2004 and is one of the largest podcast producers in the world, with strands across news, drama and entertainment. The deal covers all BBC podcasts available outside the UK, subject to rights restrictions, from the Global News, The Assassination, and World Business Report from the BBC World Service to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time (the BBC’s first podcast) and 5 Live’s Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review.

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and Music said: “Podcasts are one way we’re reinventing BBC radio to engage younger audiences with our world class content. We’re working with established and new talent to produce shows which are informative and entertaining as only the BBC can be. The BBC has been challenged to generate more commercial income to supplement the licence fee and this new deal will contribute to that.”

Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English said: “BBC World Service podcasts have become an important, and successful, part of our offer to global audiences. In line with many other international podcast producers we are supporting their production by adding advertising. Global audiences are well used to advertising on the BBC’s World News TV channel and on the bbc.com/news website. This exciting partnership with Acast will supplement our public funding and enable WSE to reach an increasing number of listeners around the world.”

Acast has been developing state of the art audio and voice technology tools since it was founded in 2014. Using advanced targeting abilities and market leading analytics, Acast will work with the BBC to monetise international content while safeguarding its commitment to UK listeners.

Acast CEO Ross Adams says: “Acast is dedicated to supporting a new era of on-demand content for the BBC. Our focus as a business is to enable the best content creators to do their best work by removing the technical and commercial friction from the process of making great audio. Our extensive international sales network coupled with our agile engineering resources open up the possibilities for partners like the BBC.”

This is a joint initiative between BBC World Service (English) and BBC Radio & Education, with most BBC podcasts having a single 30 second advertisement at the start of the podcast and a second at the end.

This advertising push outside the UK is part of an effort to identify responsible funding sources for the BBC and increase its commercial income.

Press release from Acast - this is reprinted verbatim; we rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to updates@podnews.net

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