Apple, Google, Amazon and now Sonos. The audio device makers each have come to the same conclusion — they want in on podcasting. Sonos is the newest entrant as it has become a significant investor in the podcast studio QCode. That is the podcast studio launched last year by former Creative Artists Agency agent Rob Herting in partnership with production company Automatik and management firm Grandview.
QCode said Thursday that it had raised $6.4 million in a Series A funding round, led by Sonos with participation by C Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm that has other media investments but none in podcasting. The size of Sonos’ investment in QCode was not released, but Ryan Taylor, General Manager of Sonos Radio, will join the QCode board.
“As a long-time partner of QCode, our alignment began with a belief that great sound is one of the linchpins of creating great content and capturing listener attention,” Taylor said in a statement. “In addition, we admire the uniqueness in which QCode has rethought the model to partner with artists and creators in a meaningful way and the benefit of creating exceptional content. We look forward to supporting and learning with QCode as they further their mission to deliver immersive storytelling in the podcast space.” Sonos is best known for its multi-room wireless home audio systems.
With the additional investment, QCode plans to scale up to more than 15 originals per year across a variety of different genres and through partnerships with other talent, production and media companies.
“We started QCode as a world-class audio platform to give more autonomy to creators and artists in building new and original stories,” Herting said in a statement. “From the beginning, we’ve been committed to delivering a great listening experience, which makes Sonos a perfect fit with QCode. We cannot wait to build our next round of innovative, immersive audio-story experiences.”
Since QCode debuted nearly a year ago it has released eight scripted podcasts, all of which have been No.1 in the fiction category and top 10 overall on the Apple Podcast Chart. The company also said that nearly all of its shows have lined up backers for adaptations for TV and film. That list includes the scripted dramatic podcast called Dirty Diana. The six-episode podcast is being adapted for TV in a project starring Demi Moore.
That likely helped attract the team at C Ventures. Co-founding partner Adrian Cheng said they plan to tap into their “global ecosystem” to help expand the reach of QCode podcasts. “We believe that storytelling enriches our imagination, creates unique experiences and unifies our culture which QCode has mastered and we look forward to joining them on this journey,” he said in the announcement.