iHeartMedia to Acquire Voxnest

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Voxnest Provides Leadership Role for iHeartMedia as the Consolidated Marketplace of Podcasting

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 audio company in America and the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Voxnest, the leading consolidated marketplace for podcasts and the best-in-class provider of podcast analytics, enterprise publishing tools, programmatic integration and targeted ad serving. With this acquisition, iHeartMedia, through Voxnest, will now be able to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale by allowing the effective and efficient monetization across an entire range of podcast inventory on this one-of-kind programmatic platform. This additional inventory will increase the monetization of iHeartMedia’s full range of podcasts and advance the podcast marketplace for both buyers and sellers. iHeartMedia will also be able to drive greater monetization for creators of podcast content – wherever they currently publish their shows – by connecting Voxnest’s advanced ad technology with multiple publishing platforms across the industry.

Voxnest’s additional advertising technology capabilities include:

  • Dynamic ad insertion;
  • Audience and content targeting to the right listeners based on demographics, territories, devices and interests;
  • Programmatic podcast buying across all audio platforms by providing:
    • Native support of VASTthe industry standard template for audio and video advertising.
    • OpenRTB, a protocol for enabling integrations that connect to all major audio programmatic exchanges.
  • A full podcast analytics platform.

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“This is an important addition to the iHeart digital product ecosystem, which includes our SmartAudio suite of data-driven broadcast radio advertising solutions; our position as the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher with massive distribution and promotion across all our broadcast assets; and the iHeartRadio digital platform,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “The addition of iHeart’s offerings to Voxnest will ensure critical mass for the platform and accelerate its growth. As we continue to invest in podcasting and lead the industry, we anticipate this acquisition will have an important impact on iHeart’s ability to more fully monetize its podcast inventory, and will also benefit the other podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network and the advertisers who are using it.”

“We’re excited about the growth potential from this unique combination,” said Francesco Baschieri, CEO of Voxnest. “The podcast marketplace has been fragmented, with supply and demand spread across multiple platforms – creating scale challenges for marketers who want to buy podcasts. And despite the massive growth of the podcast industry, with more than 100 million Americans listening to a podcast every month now, podcast creators and networks have not had an effective way to fully monetize their content and brands. With this combination, for the first time there will be one podcast technology platform that can bring together all of the demand sources with the largest supplier of podcast inventory – creating the only podcast technology platform that consolidates all the podcast markets into one, making buying more efficient for buyers and sellers of podcast advertising, and creating a unique benefit for the 10,000+ podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network today.”

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iHeartMedia owned a minority stake in Voxnest prior to this acquisition.

With over 251 million downloads each month, iHeartRadio is the leading commercial podcast publisher according to Podtrac, with a substantial lead over the next largest commercial podcaster. The company’s iHeartPodcast Network is home to more than 750 original podcasts spanning every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime including the most successful podcast of all time, “Stuff You Should Know,” and hits like “The Ron Burgundy Podcast” and the “Atlanta Monster” series as well as over a hundred shows from its on-air talent like the popular “Bobbycast” and “The Breakfast Club” on-demand podcasts. In addition, iHeartRadio has partnered with some of the biggest names in entertainment to launch podcast slates including long-term podcast ventures with Shondaland Audio and Shonda Rhimes, Grim & Mike and Aaron Mahnke, the Big Money Players Network and Will Ferrell, and most recently The Black Effect, in partnership with Charlamagne Tha God, to extend the reach of established podcasts and create a vast array of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts for millions of fans. iHeartPodcasts are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app.

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