NOVA Entertainment and Acast end podcast partnership

Staff Writer
Pictured: Nova CEO Cathy O’Connor with Acast founders Karl Rosander & Mans Ulvestam.

NOVA Entertainment’s partnership with global podcast network Acast is all over, red rover.

The radio network first joined with Sweden-based Acast in late 2017 to create the largest podcast offering in the Australian market, but now the broadcaster is preparing to go it alone.

The union initially offered 2,000 shows from Acast’s vast library, creating a sizable inventory for Nova’s sales team to take to market up against rivals PodcastOne and the iHeartPodcast Network.

Nova’s website recently suggested that number has grown to over 3,000 podcasts, and in excess of 10 million monthly listens locally and 170 million globally.

Acast says it now has over 10,000 shows and, in August, reached 31 million local listens.

Radio Today contacted Nova on Friday, who confirmed the partnership would not be renewed. From Monday (September 7), both businesses will manage sales in-house.

Acast regional managing director, Henrik Isaksson, said as the local podcast industry continues to grow, now is the time for Acast to be an “independent player”.

“NOVA has been an incredible partner to work with and we leave on really good terms,” he said.

“The split is simply about the incredible growth of the podcasting market and the huge opportunity Acast can offer to brands both in Australia and globally.”

Nova’s own show content is consistently among the top performers in podcasting with Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty, averaging over one million monthly downloads.

Acast has built its own sales team after leaving Nova’s Sydney offices, moving into their own digs complete with podcast studio, suggesting the split may have been some time coming.

Pictured: Acast regional managing director, Henrik Isaksson.

Nova has been growing its original podcasts offering in recent years, with titles like How To… Life, The BabbleConfessions Of A Twenty-Something Trainwreck, and Finding A Unicorn.

The announcement follows the departure of CEO Cathy O’Connor, to be replaced by Peter Charlton in November. The network also announced multiple redundancies last month.

Nova’s new chief, Charlton, said the partnership has delivered for both sides.

“There’s a lot to be proud of, but now’s the right time for us to build on that foundation independently,” he said.

“As in everything we do, Nova has big ambitions to further develop our digital audio offering, and the work we’ve done with Acast stands us in good stead to realise those.

“It’s an exciting time, and I wish Henrik and the team the very best.”

Podcasters can still use Acast to host, distribute and monetise their content while getting detailed analytics on where, how and when their content is being consumed.

Acast brands itself as a platform that connects brands and advertisers with some of the most popular podcasters at scale being the only true end-to-end audio-on-demand service.

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4 Sep 2020 - 12:14 pm

This was always in the works – leaves Nova very exposed

Audio Nut
4 Sep 2020 - 4:58 pm

Tim Nova doesn’t need to share its revenue with anyone. Radio is leading the podcast journey in Australia and rightly so…

5 Sep 2020 - 11:49 am

@AudioBut who says “Radio is leading the podcast journey in Australia”

Just because a lot of radio people want to believe that doesn’t mean it is true.

7 Sep 2020 - 12:31 pm

Good luck to Acast, they’re going to need it!


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