When is a multimillion-dollar investment in a podcast studio priceless for the industry? When it comes amid a global economic downturn. But that’s what has happened as the Los Angeles podcast studio Dear Media has just secured $8 million in funding from Magnet Companies, an investment firm founded by media and tech vets. The funding will be used to grow Dear Media’s slate of podcasts, but it may well also offer a signal to other investors that podcasting is a good bet as the economy recovers in the coming months.
Dear Media’s network was formed in 2018 as a joint venture between CEO and co-founder Michael Bosstick and Raina Penchansky of Digital Brand Architects, a top independent influencer management company. During the past two years Dear Media has seen the number of podcasts under its umbrella grow to more than 40 female-centric shows focused on issues like career development, parenting, health and wellness, comedy, sex and relationships, activism and advocacy. Those podcasts have had more than 150 million downloads to date, and Dear Media says downloads continue to grow monthly, with The Bitch Bible and The Skinny Confidential among its biggest shows.
In addition to adding to its podcast roster and developing original content, Dear Media says it will also use the capital to invest in early-stage, direct-to-consumer companies that will leverage its distribution platform to “maximize reach, engagement, and revenue opportunities.” It is also looking toward talent cross-collaborations within UTA and Digital Brand Architects’ collective reach.
“We could not be more excited to partner with Magnet to fuel the rapid growth of this network to bring even more female perspectives to our growing audience. Before Dear Media was established these voices had been underrepresented and underutilized,” said Bosstick in a statement. “We view our talent and shows as not only podcast channels but brands within themselves. This investment will help us meet the strong demand we’ve seen from audiences for our programming to develop new business models that we believe are the future of audio and commerce.” Dear Media becomes the first podcaster in which Magnet Companies has announced an investment. With the backing of private equity investors, Magnet was founded by media and tech vets Jeff Berman, Betsy Morgan and Brett Bouttier in 2018 with an eye on direct-to-consumer brands.
“Dear Media is far more than a podcast network. It’s a home for a growing roster of spectacular talent and has created a unique monetization model that allows creators to make more in a much smarter way,” Berman said in the announcement.