SiriusXM buys Simplecast to grow its burgeoning podcast empire

The satellite radio broadcaster is getting deeper into podcasts.

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In a move that's likely to lead to even more competition in the already hotly contested podcasting space, SiriusXM announced Wednesday it's acquiring Simplecast. The platform gives independent and enterprise podcasters tools to publish their audio content. It also comes with a suite of analytics to measure audience engagement.

SiriusXM says the Simplecast team will work with AdsWizz, an ad tech company the broadcaster inherited when it acquired Pandora for $3.5 billion in 2018, to form the core of its publisher solutions business. For podcasters, the company says the main benefit of the acquisition is that it will create a single platform where they’ll be able to develop and monetize their content.

The satellite broadcaster didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal. However, the acquisition is the company's second splashy deal since the start of the year. In February, SiriusXM invested $75 million in SoundCloud.

While not an exact match, the deal is, in a lot of ways, similar to Spotify's acquisition of Anchor last year. SiriusXM was already making a significant push into podcasts with its recent Pandora efforts. However, by adding Simplecast to its lineup, the company will be able to build out a YouTube-style distribution business in a space that’s growing. According to a 2019 study, nearly one out of three people in the US listen to at least podcast every month.

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