Marlon Nichols And Cross Culture Ventures Set To Gain On Spotify Purchase Of Gimlet Media

Written by Dana Sanchez

Spotify made a big move Wednesday to expand beyond music streaming, announcing that it has bought Gimlet Media Inc., a popular podcast producer, and Anchor, a platform to help creators produce and publish podcasts.

Spotify is paying more than $200 million in cash for Gimlet, Recode reported. Gimlet’s last funding round — a Series B in 2017 — valued the company at about $70 million.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 08: Marlon Nichols Jamarlin talks with Marlon Nichols, co-founder of Cross Culture Ventures, about the culturally-themed fund he started with Troy Carter.

Based in Brooklyn, Gimlet operates as a network of high-quality, narrative podcasts such as Crimetown and Reply All.

Prior to the acquisition, Gimlet raise $28.5 million in six funding rounds. Investors included Cross Culture Ventures, WPP, Betaworks, Stripes Group, LionTree Partners, and Emerson Collective, according to Crunchbase.

Marlon Nichols, co-founded Cross Culture Ventures | Photo: Anita Sanikop

Moguldom spoke to Marlon Nichols, who co-founded the culturally-themed fund Cross Culture Ventures, with Troy Carter. Carter worked at Spotify as its head of global creative services until September 2018, when he assumed an advisory role at the streaming company.

We asked Nichols how bullish he is on Gimlet.

“Gimlet has established itself as the clear leader in the podcasting space,” Nichols told Moguldom. “Their focus on premium and uniquely curated content has proven effective and is unmatched. They are a pleasure to work with and we are thrilled to be investors.”

As for the podcasting space itself, Nichols said he expects it to continue to explode.

“Brands are finding that they can target consumers with greater specificity and that tracking their ad dollars in the space is far more transparent,” he said.

The acquisition puts Spotify in the content-creation business for the first time, Recode reported. That’s something the company hasn’t done in its close-to-11 years in the music industry.

“The amount Spotify is looking to spend on podcast companies is greater than a year of advertising revenue for the entire podcasting market,” Mashable reported.

About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.