UK audio powerhouse Global has signed major podcast distribution and ad sales deals with iHeart Media and The Athletic, both based in the US.
Global and iHeart Media will license, distribute and represent each other’s podcast portfolios in a multi-year deal.
This means that in the UK iHeart’s titles will be available on Global’s on-demand player and its advertising exchange DAX, while in the US Global’s podcasts will appear on the iHeart Radio app and be monetised by iHeart’s audio sales team.
Conal Byrne, chief executive of iHeart Media’s digital audio group, said: “As more international listeners engage with hit iHeart Podcasts every month, this is a great opportunity to work with the best-in-class Global and using DAX monetisation teams, to find new audiences and advertisers for the best and largest podcast portfolio in the world.”
iHeart Media is the biggest audio company in the US and publishes more than 800 podcasts including health and wellness title On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Scrubs actors Zach Braff and Donald Faison, The Ron Burgundy Podcast with Will Ferrell reprising his movie role, and true-crime The Girlfriends, which tells the story of women who together brought a murderous ex-boyfriend to justice.
Meanwhile Global has invested hugely in its podcasting over the past few years and hits include daily show The News Agents hosted by Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall, which launched a US version in June.
Global claims that DAX is the biggest digital advertising platform in the UK and one of the biggest in the world. It inserts targeted advertising into radio, music and podcasts across the UK, Europe, the US and Canada.
Global’s chief commercial officer Mike Gordon said combining the reach of the two companies’ platforms and networks “at a time when podcasts are experiencing rapid growth will see us reaching more audiences than ever before”.
Less than a week before the iHeart deal was announced, Global revealed it had signed an ad sales partnership with the New York Times-owned sports publisher The Athletic, which launched a dedicated podcast division in 2019.
It will enable The Athletic to monetise its podcast portfolio, including titles like The Athletic Football Podcast and The Totally Football Show, in the UK and Ireland through host-read ads and sponsorship.
Gordon said: “I’m looking forward to working with all our advertising partners to score huge reach amongst an audience of passionate and dedicated sports fans.”
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