On Thursday, Spotify announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire storytelling-driven podcast studio, Parcast.  The terms of the transaction wasn’t disclosed.

“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.

Parcast runs 18 story-driven podcast series that include Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye.  Over seventy percent of the Parcast audience is female.

“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women, across all 50 states and around the world,” said Ostroff.

Even with the Spotify deal, Parcast will continue developing its own stories.  The studio is developing over 20 new scripted shows that focus on things like the justice system, crimes of passion, and the world’s mot resilient survivors.  Spotify plants on launching these series by the end of 2019.

As a whole, the podcast industry is growing, and Spotify considers itself the second biggest podcasting platform in the world, behind Apple.  With the acquisition of Parcast, this bolster’s Spotify’s competitive edge and podcast advertising revenues.

The IAB and PwC forecast that podcasting ad revenue will more than double to $659 million by 2020.

Premium subscribers won’t have to listen to ads, but there are some podcasts that might have third-party ads placed inside their episodes.  Podcasts can be a potential place for marketers to reach certain demographics as a effective channel of advertisement.  Whitepapers like the IAB’s Podcast Playbook: A Guide for Marketers are a good starting point for marketers interested in exploring more about the opportunity. Spotify’s Ad Studio program also offers extensive resources and tools for advertisers.

According to Spotify, it has plans to spend up to $500 million on podcast start-ups this year.

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