Spotify Is Acquiring Its 3rd Podcasting Business In 2 Months, Paying $100M+ For Parcast

Written by Dana Sanchez

Stockholm-based audio subscription streaming service Spotify continues its expansion into podcasting with a deal in the works to acquire Parcast, a storytelling podcast studio that has launched series about conspiracy theories, serial killers and cults.

California-based Parcast has produced 18 premium mostly non-fiction podcasts since its 2016 launch with 20 new shows slated this year. These include Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye.

Spotify did not disclose the terms of the transaction in a press release. However a person close to the negotiation said that Spotify is paying more than $100 million in cash and earn-outs to buy Parcast. That’s “an enormous multiple on Parcast’s limited revenues,” the person said.

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In February, Spotify announced that had bought Gimlet Media Inc., a popular podcast producer, and Anchor, a platform to help creators produce and publish podcasts.

Spotify paid about $200 million for Gimlet and about $140 million for Anchor. A Series B funding round in 2017 valued Gimlet at about $70 million.

Parcast’s expertise lies in mystery, crime, science fiction and history, according to Spotify. Parcast creates, develops and produces its shows in-house by a team of writers, researchers and hosts.

“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify chief content officer. “Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base. 

Spotify said it was looking to buy more businesses and wanted to spend between $400 million and $500 million on multiple deals in 2019, FT reported.

Max Cutler, founder and president of Parcast, said his content hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women. Joining Spotify will give Parcast access to one of the largest audiences in the world, he said.