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More money for podcasting: Radio network Entercom invests in podcast network Dgital Media

The broadcaster is taking a 45 percent stake in the startup.

Politicon 2017 - Day 1
Pod Save America’s Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett, who work with podcast network Dgital Media, onstage with political commentator Symone Sanders
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon

Earlier this week, podcast startup Gimlet raised $15 million — which gave us the opportunity to note that investors have not been clamoring to put money into podcasting.

Now, here’s another investor putting money into podcasting: Entercom, the fourth-largest radio broadcaster in the U.S., is buying 45 percent of Dgital Media, a podcast producer/network whose roster includes political shows like Pod Save America.

Dgital Media also works closely with Recode and our parent company Vox Media — it provides production services for Recode’s podcasts and sell ads for all of Vox Media’s podcasts.

So we’re quite conflicted here, and will keep this short. Just a couple quick notes:

  • Entercom isn’t providing details about the size of its investment and the valuation it is placing on Dgital. But the investment is part cash and part in-kind services — “significant annual marketing and promotional support across its nationwide broadcast radio platform.” That is, it will promote and sell Dgital’s shows on its radio network.
  • Entercom should get much bigger later this year once it swallows up CBS Radio, a move that will double its size and make it the second-largest radio network. Last year, the two companies did a combined $1.7 billion in revenue.
  • Yes, this is another investment in podcasting, which makes the “investors don’t want to bet on podcasting” thesis I was advancing earlier a bit flimsier. On the other hand, it’s a strategic investor who is entrenched in the dominant/existing audio business, not a venture capitalist. Which may or may not mean something.

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