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Spotify acquires L.A. podcasting firm Parcast

FILE- This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the Spotify app on an iPad in Baltimore. Music site Spoti
Spotify said Tuesday it would acquire L.A.-based Parcast, the maker of 18 premium podcast series, for an undisclosed amount.
(Patrick Semansky / AP)

Spotify said Tuesday that it is acquiring Los Angeles podcasting firm Parcast, part of its larger effort to become a leader in audio stories as well as music.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Parcast, known for its true crime and mystery stories, has 18 premium podcast series, including “Unsolved Murders,” “Serial Killers” and “Conspiracy Theories.” The company, which launched in 2016, has about 20 employees.

More than 75% of Parcast’s audience is female, Spotify said.

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“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’s chief content officer, in a statement. “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.”

Parcast will launch more than 20 new shows later this year. Parcast’s founder and president, Max Cutler, said joining Spotify will give it “access to one of the largest audiences around the world.”

“Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow and amplify the unique and tailored brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities,” Cutler said.

Spotify has been ramping up its effort to become a podcast leader, recently acquiring podcast firms Gimlet Media and Anchor FM for about $340 million. The Swedish company said it plans on spending as much as $500 million this year on podcast-related acquisitions. In the fourth quarter, Spotify had more than 185,000 podcast titles.

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The push comes as more people are listening to podcasts as a form of entertainment. Streaming media businesses like Spotify may stand to profit more off of podcasts because the format usually does not require those companies to pay music streaming fees, analysts said.

The acquisition of Parcast is expected to close in the second quarter. Spotify stock fell 3.3% to $137.45 on Tuesday.

wendy.lee@latimes.com

Twitter: @thewendylee


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