Two-year-old podcast and audiobook platform Podimo has announced the completion of a $78 million Series B funding round.
Copenhagen-based Podimo (pronounced “POD-ee-mo,” per the entity’s website) detailed the nearly $80 million raise today, in a formal release that was emailed to Digital Music News. Currently available in Denmark, Spain, Germany, Norway, “and across Latin America,” Podimo relayed that London’s 83North and Highland Europe led the round, which follows a roughly $16.80 million (€15 million) Series A from May of 2020.
Podimo – which offers podcasters the choice of exclusive and non-exclusive distribution – intends to put this latest capital influx towards expanding its market presence, founder and CEO Morten Strunge indicated in a statement. Moreover, Strunge, the founder of e-book and audiobook subscription service Mofibo, likewise emphasized his ambitious vision for (non-music) audio entertainment’s growth potential.
“The podcast and audio market is expected to grow beyond 50 billion USD over the next 5-6 years, with more and more audiences discovering compelling, short-form, spoken word audio every day,” said Strunge, whose company will “soon” launch in other nations, according to its website. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, and with our strategic focus on content in local markets’ native languages, we feel well positioned to grab a substantial part of this market.”
The latter point is worth bearing in mind, for Spotify, Amazon Music, and other streaming platforms have taken a number of steps to broaden their presence in the audio-entertainment space as of late. And as these leading services have in some cases had a hard time overtaking regional platforms on the music-streaming side, it’s possible that the inroads made by Podimo and other podcasting startups could also prove significant.
More broadly, Podimo’s Series B appears to further validate the non-music audio space, into which companies have poured billions in recent years. Spotify alone dropped a reported $100 million to become the exclusive home of The Joe Rogan Experience and a reported $60 million for the rights to Call Her Daddy, to name some programs.
Additionally, these deals represent just a portion of Spotify’s content investments and followed buyouts of The Ringer (reportedly $250 million), Gimlet Media (reportedly $230 million), and Megaphone (reportedly $235 million).
Needless to say, time will tell whether these plays – as well as the overarching non-music audio space – pay off. Touting Spotify’s perceived potential, Worm Capital last month predicted that the Stockholm-based company “will ultimately prove out to be the Google of audio.”
Similarly, Amsterdam’s The Guardian Fund in February voiced support for Spotify’s long-term business plan and forecasted that its shares will “be worth at least five times more in 2030,” while a study earlier this month suggested that spoken-word audio is slowly chipping away at music’s lead.
On the other side of the coin, though, Spotify hasn’t reported a significant increase in podcast engagement (as a portion of MAUs) despite the above-mentioned deals, and Bernstein in July of 2020 said that “it’s unlikely Spotify will generate much earnings from podcasts.”