Acast believes it can double its audience and revenue in 2021

Former Editor & Content Director

Acast is looking to double both its revenue and audience in 2021.

The company acknowledges the goals are “ambitious”, but said since its split from NOVA Entertainment last year, it’s just been on the up and up.

“The partnership we did and signed in 2017 [with NOVA] was more, I would say, out of curiosity than necessity,” local managing director Henrik Isaksson told Radio Today. “Things have changed a lot [since the split]. Obviously working with NOVA, it’s a big beast, it’s a massive business, it takes up a lot of time and resources…

“I’m not saying anything with NOVA was bad, but it’s super nice to see our business sort of standing on its own two feet and obviously growing without having someone like NOVA.”

In 2020, while many other media companies were shedding staff, Acast’s local outfit was on somewhat of a hiring spree. Isaksson conceded it was a difficult dynamic to be thriving when so many were barely surviving.

“So many businesses are experiencing extreme hardship at the moment, like, crazy hardship, and we’re not at all,” he said, noting the biggest challenge was on-boarding all his new hires during lockdowns.

“I wake up almost evert day pinching myself going ‘This is amazing We’re killing it’. And that feels very, very good.”

Isaksson claimed he can’t go into the company’s specific revenue figures, but said it has grown two fold year-on-year for three years, “so why not four?”


Isaksson has big plans for Acast Australia 

And as for debates about who is the biggest podcasting powerhouse from a business perspective, he is in no doubt – it’s Acast.

“Well, we are the biggest,” he said simply in response to the size question.

“I think the reason why we’re successful is because we offer podcasters and publishers independence, and one fo the sort of big north star goals that we have – I hate using that analogy too, it sounds so corporate – we want to become the home of independent podcasting. In the conversations we’re having with some of the biggest podcasters in the world, the reason why they choose to work with Acast is because we give them that. We give them independence. We offer them a global solution whilst they keep their IP, so that’s definitely one thing.

“And then we’ve got, obviously, the big question and the big conversation of audience numbers. We got 26 million monthly listens in Australia and that’s without NOVA and News Corp – they obviously moved off when we ended the partnership, which we can completely understand. But if you compare that to SCA and Nova and ARN, we’re bigger than all of them combined.”

To help these growth ambitions, Isaksson said Acast would focus on technology and making podcasting advertising easier to use, buy and measure.

“We’ll keep building more tech, making podcasting easier to buy, because even though we have all the tools… we need to make it more accessible. We need to make podcasting easier to buy. So that’s one thing, so more tools for advertisers.”

He also flagged some podcast companies need to evolve their advertising offering to make it more compelling and transparent to brands.

“Some providers today still bake their ads into podcasts, like dynamic ad insertion isn’t really a thing, as long as that’s not around, it’s going to be hard for a business to justify what a buying model looks like, what is a fair price for say a show?”

Isaksson recently placed in Radio Today’s Podcast Power Players list for the role he has played in transforming Acast since its split from Nova.

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