We’re quick approaching half a billion people listening to podcasts, and at this time one of many unbiased gamers hoping to money in on that exercise has introduced some funding to develop.
Podimo, the Copenhagen-based podcasting startup that’s constructed round a Netflix-style month-to-month subscription payment, has raised one other €44 million ($48 million at at this time’s charges) in funding, an all-equity spherical that will probably be utilizing to increase throughout the entire of its enterprise: will probably be enhancing manufacturing instruments; increasing its distribution community alongside its personal platform; and going deeper into localization.
Podimo is presently out there in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland, and Latin America — the place it fees between $5 and $7 per thirty days to listeners, and better charges to creators to make use of its instruments — and the plan is so as to add extra international locations to that checklist.
The funding comes after a yr that has seen Podimo’s common engagement per consumer rise to twenty hours per thirty days, and its subscription base develop by 80% — though in an interview, Morten Strunge, the CEO and founder, declined, a number of occasions, to reveal an precise subscriber quantity. He mentioned there are round 350 exhibits revealed weekly, with solely round “a handful” of creators making a number of exhibits, that means it has round 350 creators utilizing the platform at this time.
The Danish Export and Funding Fund (EIFO) is main the spherical, with HighlandX and Augustinus Fabrikker additionally collaborating. Strunge mentioned that previous to this spherical, the corporate had raised simply over €200 million. (The final spherical, simply over a yr in the past in September 2022, was simply over €58 million.)
Strunge declined to reveal valuation, however for some additional context on that: he confirmed it was an upround, and that the corporate is now worthwhile in its dwelling market of Denmark and is specializing in stepping into the black all over the place else. (For what it’s price, the final estimate on PitchBook was $240 million, however since that determine now precedes the final two funding rounds, it’s not a really correct information right here.)
Podimo’s funding and traction are coming at a tough time for the podcasting business. Whereas there are clear indicators of the viewers of listeners rising, for these hoping to make a enterprise out of podcasting — “these” consists of each the businesses constructing podcasting platforms and instruments, in addition to creators — the numbers nonetheless won’t be including up.
In September, the WSJ wrote an illuminating piece about how the percentages appeared stacked in opposition to Spotify’s $1 billion wager on podcasting, an determine that included a bunch of unique (learn: costly) offers with high-profile names, its platform investments and extra. Earlier this yr, Google determined to shut down its standalone podcasting app and fold operations into YouTube: a sign that it’s nonetheless in search of the precise system to be successful participant within the house. And in June, it emerged that SiriusXM would shut down Stitcher, some of the longstanding, iconic names in podcasting, simply three years after shopping for it.
One notable element about Podimo in that context is that it stays an unbiased providing, separate of any bigger platform play, and that doubtlessly offers it extra agility, but additionally a danger of getting crowded out by the enterprise priorities of these larger operations. In spite of everything, it nonetheless depends on different platforms each for direct distribution (as an app), and not directly (to cross submit pods for its creators, to advertise them and extra).
Strunge believes that Podimo’s place as a “one cease store” helps it stand out from the remainder of the podcasting fray. Creators can use the platform to supply content material (and embrace “native” promoting inside it, by the use of Podimo’s personal advert enterprise, one among a number of acquisitions it has made over time); distribute it on Podimo itself; use the platform to distribute that content material to different podcasting platforms; after which collect and browse metrics on all of that exercise.
The plan might be to take this mannequin additional, Strunge mentioned, with a concentrate on ever-more “hyper native” content material. That can embrace producing extra content material in numerous languages, and offering extra localised info to folks.
The localised nature, he added, is one cause why promoting in podcasts is so tough. “Greater than ninety p.c of consumption is available in native languages at this time,” he mentioned. “So you have got a fragmented provide aspect. The media business nonetheless has problem with scale when serving that.” (And for the report, Podimo has no plans within the fast future to introduce advertising-based tiers, decreasing or eradicating subscription charges, he mentioned.)
Content material, in the meantime, nonetheless has a variety of room for innovation, in his opinion. The corporate has just lately began constructing out what he described as short-form podcasts: six or seven-minute information updates customised for native markets, not not like information briefs that you simply may get on conventional radio.
If the mannequin is to maneuver nearer to what’s already on the market available in the market, the massive problem might be to proceed differentiating itself and whether or not it may possibly achieve this on a worthwhile foundation. And competitors isn’t letting up. Taking simply two current examples, Spotify is now working with OpenAI to create computerized translations of podcasts. And Apple is increasing its many creator instruments.
“Our funding in Podimo matches immediately into EIFO’s technique to contribute to sustaining sturdy tech corporations in Denmark. On the similar time, the funding helps our 2024 technique of constructing extra development investments within the late phases,” mentioned Jacob Bratting Pedersen, associate in tech and business investing in EIFO, in an announcement. “We see in Podimo a tech firm with massive ambitions, and with a brilliant skilled staff behind it, which might execute on the highly effective, worldwide enlargement plan. As well as, the podcast market is favored with an underlying development of an anticipated 32 p.c yearly for the subsequent a number of years. So the market, which is already massive at this time, solely seems to be set to get even larger rapidly.”