BBC Studios joins public media leaders with new investment into PocketCasts
PRESS RELEASE — March 3, 2020
New York NY, USA—As podcasting continues to grow, the world’s largest public media entities are joining forces to ensure that consumers get the best listening experience with new investment into Pocket Casts. Acquired in May 2018 by a number of U.S. public media institutions, Pocket Casts is a globally available podcast platform, which offers a rich listening experience, easy to find content and human-curated podcast recommendations.
Today, the critically acclaimed podcasting platform is announcing an additional fundraising partner in global content company BBC Studios, alongside new investment from existing partners NPR, WNYC Studios and WBEZ Chicago. Together, this consortia of global public media account for some of the world’s most popular, internationally recognized audio programs, including The Global News Podcast from BBC World Service, Have You Heard George’s Podcast? from BBC Sounds, Up First from NPR, Radiolab from WNYC Studios and This American Life from WBEZ Chicago.
U.S. based NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago and This American Life acquired Pocket Casts to reflect their shared goal of growing audio storytelling. In September 2019, the podcasting platform announced a shift to a free-to-download model to align with the open access philosophy of its public media partners. Now, with BBC Studios’ investment, Pocket Casts continues to differentiate itself as a global audio platform focused on independent voices, supporting producers and preserving the intimacy of the medium.
“This new partnership with BBC Studios enables Pocket Casts to further our goal of creating the world’s best podcasting platform, for both listeners and publishers,” said Owen Grover, CEO. “We’re committed to an open ecosystem, one that supports independent storytelling, while providing a robust, beautifully designed experience for global podcast fans. With public media’s influence behind us, we feel a deep and abiding obligation to grow the medium.”
“Pocket Casts is the perfect partner for BBC Studios given they’re recognized as a market leading platform and loved by audiences,” said Nigel Gaines, Interim President, BBC Studios - Americas. “We look forward to being part of Pocket Casts’ next phase of growth, which will further enable audiences to find the best podcast content.”
Hailed as the best podcast app for iOS and Android by the Verge, Wired, Engadget and Lifehacker, amongst others, Pocket Casts features more than 700K podcasts and is available in 155 countries.
About Pocket Casts
Built by podcast listeners, for podcast listeners, Pocket Casts is a critically acclaimed, beautifully designed app that’s on a mission to create the world’s greatest podcasting experience through its free and Pocket Casts Plus tiers. We offer podcast fans more control of their listening experience through features that make it easier to discover and organize podcasts, alongside powerful tools to customize the listening experience. Owned by a consortium of public radio stations in NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, This American Life and global content company BBC Studios, we believe in great stories and are focused on helping publishers grow their audiences. Headquartered in New York with offices in Adelaide, Australia, Pocket Casts is available for Android, iOS and online at www.pocketcasts.com, as well as Amazon Echo, CarPlay, Android Auto, Sonos, Apple Watch, Google Home, Chromecast, and HomePod (via Google Cast and Airplay 2).
About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. Formed in April 2018 by the merger of BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, it spans content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries. BBC Studios’ award-winning British programs are internationally recognized across a broad range of genres and specialties. It has offices in 22 markets globally, including seven production bases in the UK and production bases and partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which makes over 2,500 hours of content a year, is a champion for British creativity around the world and a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector.
In the Americas, BBC Studios’ operates two production units – one in Los Angeles, responsible for ratings juggernaut and Emmy®-nominated Dancing with the Stars and multi-award-winning Life Below Zero, and the other in Brazil, where local productions Dancing Brasil and Bake Off Brasil have become breakout hits. The company manages joint venture relationships with AMC Networks for flagship channel BBC AMERICA (U.S.) – home of original series Killing Eve and global brands Dynasties, Doctor Who, and Top Gear – and with ITV for SVoD service BritBox (U.S./Canada), as well as strategic partnerships in Canada with Blue Ant Media for BBC Earth Channel and Corus for BBC Canada. The company also boasts a franchise management business and a robust linear and digital content sales and co-productions operation.
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