BREAKING: Audioboom achieves additional funding. What's next?
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Audioboom (BOOM:LSE), the UK-based podcast host and sales house, has successfully completed a new set of funding, raising £4.5m (US$6m). The announcement has just been made by the London Stock Exchange.
The company, which withdrew from an attempted acquisition of Triton Digital in May, had been seeking new investment. The new funding comes from a mix of current investors and new ones. Trading will resume for Audioboom’s shares again on 14 June.
In a telephone call with Podnews, Audioboom’s Chief Operating Officer Stuart Last outlined the future for the company now that funding is secured, and talked about working with other podcasting companies to help grow the medium.
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Audioboom will continue to focus on acquiring new podcast publishers for the company to represent for ad sales. “We really want to accelerate the growth of that,” Last said, highlighting that this is area of the market that has grown to be considerably more competitive. Audioboom’s package to content publishers will include more competitive revenue shares, a promotional budget, as well as guarantees of minimum revenue.
After a freeze in payments earlier this year caused by the attempted Triton Digital acquisition, Audioboom continues to work with publishers to bring their revenue up to date. “We’ve fully caught up for 70 of our publishers, and we’ve made partial payments to a hundred publishers,” Last said, making a commitment that all publisher payments will be up to date by the end of July. “We fully appreciate that we need to try harder here,” he added.
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Asked about comments made in financial statements about smaller publishers, he took time to clarify Audioboom’s position. “We’re fully committed to working with podcasters of all sizes,” Last said. He explained that Audioboom had old, legacy contracts with a number of smaller publishers who weren’t bringing in ad revenue but were taking a lot of management; those contracts have now expired or been renegotiated.
Indeed, Last was clear to highlight the work that Audioboom has made in terms of supporting smaller podcasters. They now have a fully automated ad-sales network which removes scale issues; they have invested in sponsorship of Podcast Movement, for example, as well as working with school and universities; and they plan to open their studios and facilities for smaller podcasters too.
Audioboom’s strategy also includes their own original content: currently a slate of ten shows. The Audioboom Originals network offers the company benefits with better margins and the long-term benefits of owning the IP behind the shows; and they plan to expand and invest in this content arm. The company already has studios in New York, and will be opening studios in Los Angeles shortly.
“We want to commit proper marketing spend to Audioboom Originals,” he said. “We need to make sure that when we invest in a show, it’s important to make them a big hit; so each podcast at launch needs to come with proper marketing dollars.” The strategy of being both a producer of new content and representing other publishers becomes clearer when Last explains “we have a lot of ears across the whole network to help us promote shows”.
He’s keen to work together with other companies to grow podcasting’s share of listening. “We’re going to focus on the low-hanging fruit of promoting our podcasts to existing podcast listeners,” Last adds, “but it would be great if every podcast company took 10% of their podcast marketing and jointly used that money to market to new podcast listeners [across other platforms]. That would be fantastic for everyone.”
After a period of uncertainty, the clarity of Audioboom’s new funding probably means that Stuart Last will be able to sleep better at night - until, at least, the arrival of his new baby, due at the same time as Podcast Movement. While Last will be home changing nappies, Audioboom will be present at the event as platinum sponsors.