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Automattic invests in RadioPublic

Announced yesterday, the investment sees the parent of WordPress joins a collection of strategic investors that includes The New York Times, Bose Corporation, WGBH, and American Public Media, and deepens a relationship that started last year when the company made RadioPublic’s embed player available on all WordPress sites, as noted in the corresponding press release.

The investment sum was not publicly disclosed.

This development comes as a few competing next-generation podcast apps announced alternative monetization features for publishing users and partners:

  • Last Monday, Breaker, the Y Combinator-accelerated podcast app, rolled out a new monetization feature called “Upstream” that lets its publishing users create paid or “premium” content tiers.
  • Last Thursday, Anchor, the Betaworks-backed podcast app, launched a new feature of its own called “Listener Support” that lets its publishing users set up direct recurring payment arrangements with their listeners.

In addition, Patreon, the membership support platform of choice for a number of independent podcast publishers, announced last Wednesday that it has acquired Memberful, a smaller platform specializing in white-label membership services. (Disclaimer: I use Memberful to run my own paid tier, Hot Pod Insider.)

RadioPublic has operated its own alternative monetization play, an advertising marketplace geared towards smaller publishers called “Paid Listens,” since February.