Libsyn’s rash of deal making has brought a second deal focused on podcast monetization in two weeks. On the heels of its deal to acquire Advertisecast, Libsyn said Monday it is buying Glow. The podcast monetization platform allows show producers to offer “memberships” to fans – who in exchange gain access to ad-free content, early access to new episodes, back catalog, etc. Libsyn will integrate Glow into its hosting and monetization platform, giving podcasters another option to choose from when considering adding membership revenue to the mix.
“As shown by our recent acquisition of AdvertiseCast, monetization for podcasters is becoming increasingly important,” said Libsyn President Laurie Sims. “Glow will help expand Libsyn’s positioning with podcasters who seek to monetize their content and build direct relationships with listeners,” she said in the announcement.
Financial terms of the deal were not immediately made public.
Glow was co-founded in 2019 by Amira Valliani, who previously operated the boutique podcast ad agency Backyard Media, and Brian Elieson, who spent the past 15 years split between Microsoft and Amazon. It has had the backing of several venture capital firms including Pioneer Square Labs, a Seattle venture capital firm specializing in companies in the Pacific Northwest, Greycroft, and WndrCo, the technology investment firm co-founded by film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, among others.
Since launching, Glow says it has processed over a hundred thousand payments on behalf of podcasters and has worked with shows including WBUR’s Endless Thread, Twenty Thousand Hertz, Acquired, and Money for the Rest of Us.
Glow’s membership technology, which includes private feed distribution and subscription billing will be married with Libsyn’s podcast hosting platform that offers analytics and other monetization products. The integration will allow Libsyn-hosted podcasters to easily experiment with and charge for premium content, accept secure payments and distribute the content to listeners in their podcast player of choice. They will also have the option to accept donations from listeners, using the same seamless Glow payment system.
“Our mission at Glow has always been to empower creators, and Libsyn has been at the forefront of that movement for over 16 years,” said Valliani. “This acquisition represents a big step in listener-supported podcasts moving into the mainstream and unlocking new dollars to support the ecosystem.”
Vallani is not joining Libsyn. As part of the transaction, the company did not acquire the growth platform Refer-O-Matic, which Vallani and her team will independently focus on under the Creator Machines entity.
Podcasters on Libsyn will be able to begin taking advantage of new membership offerings in the coming months as part of the Libsyn 5 platform’s rollout. However, hosting on Libsyn will not be required to utilize Glow.
Libsyn has struck a string of deals in recent weeks including last month’s $30 million deal to buy the podcast rep firm AdvertiseCast. It sells inventory for more than 1,500 podcasts and Libsyn says its combination with Libsyn’s 75,000 hosted podcasts will accelerate revenue opportunities for podcast creators and provide advertisers with significant new inventory.
In February, Libsyn announced it was buying the podcast creation platform Auxbus, By pairing Auxbus with its hosting platform, the move allowed Libsyn to keep up with a growing shift toward offering a full-service experience to producers.
Other deals have been focused on distribution, such as Libsyn making the podcasts it hosts available on the Samsung Free.
The pace of the additions led Libsyn to alert the Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it would need to delay filing its annual report in order to update its numbers.