Issue 197,  published February 26, 2019

Cadence 13 to move its podcasts onto Megaphone

I’ve learned that Cadence13 (née DGital Media) is moving its hosting commitments to Panoply’s Megaphone. Cadence13 — whose publishing clients include Crooked Media, Tenderfoot TV, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and Tony Kornheiser — previously hosted its shows on Art19.

Cadence13 is the latest customer that Panoply’s brought in since divesting from its content business last fall. In November, the company signed Vox Media to a deal that brought most of its podcasts away from Art19 and onto Megaphone, though Today, Explained — which originated through a deal with Stitcher — remains on Art19. (Generally speaking, Stitcher appears to favor Art19, but it’s experimented with Megaphone, notably using shows from the Oprah Winfrey Network, in the past. It remains to be seen how the hosting situation will shake out for the upcoming shows from Stitcher’s expanded partnership with Vox Media.)

In December, Panoply signed Starburns Audio, the Smart Passive Income Podcast, Studio71, and a handful of other smaller partners, and in January, Panoply brought iHeartMedia’s podcast network onto the Megaphone platform, which also previously hosted on Art19.

It’s worth noting that Art19 still has a core of prominent clients, including Wondery and the aforementioned Stitcher. They also continue to drum up new business, signing Tribune Media’s fledgling podcast operations last month.

Okay, so I’m probably overcooking the whole Megaphone vs. Art19 meal here, though the two businesses are most definitely locked in some competition over similar client pools. But the broader context here, I think, is that the podcast hosting platform scene is due for some sort of systematic shift or shakeup. Two reasons for this: The first is the continued increase of demand for more intense platform-level targeting and monetization solutions (see Megaphone’s targeted marketplace feature and Art19’s Smart Audience tool). That demand is coming from the growing number of legacy/scale-seeking publishing businesses participating in the podcast industry.

The second, more oblique reason is Anchor — previously a hyper-active hosting upstart, whose ingestion into the Spotify whale introduces an added level of unpredictability to the “who wants to host where” decision tree moving forward.

Anyway, keep an eye on this particular thread. There’s rumbling up ahead.