The podcast network Luminary just closed a round of $60m in fresh cash, bringing its total amount of funding to more than $100m.
Unlike other ’casting competitors that have been acquired by larger companies like Spotify for princely sums of cash, Luminary has remained independent by charging for its star-studded subscription products.
Big noise from big names
Unlike competitors who offer free, ad-supported podcasts, Luminary charges $8/month of ad-free access to larger-than-life radio personalities including Guy Raz, Lena Dunham, Malcolm Gladwell, Trevor Noah, and Conan O’Brien.
Luminary will also offer free access to 600k “non-premium” podcasts (which will include ads) in its marketplace, but it will rely on its exclusive content to keep the lights on.
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The podcasting industry has consolidated rapidly in recent months.
A radio consortium headlined by NPR bought Pocket Casts last May, and Spotify acquired platforms Gimlet and Anchor in February and announced plans to spend a total of $500m on its podcast platform shopping spree.
For now, Luminary has enough cash to stay independent for a while if it wants to: For perspective, Gimlet media — which Spotify bought for about $230m in February — had only raised a total of $28.5m at the time it was acquired.