With the acquisition of Parcast, Spotify proves that true-crime does pay

Parcast, a tiny, bootstrapped podcast studio known for its true-crime podcasts, sold to Spotify.


March 27, 2019

 

Music streaming giant Spotify acquired the podcast studio Parcast, which is known for its 18 popular true-crime podcasts on topics ranging from Serial Killers to Unsolved Murders to Conspiracy Theories.

For Parcast, a tiny bootstrapped studio run by a father-son duo, the acquisition is an opportunity to tap into Spotify’s massive 207m users and likely a big financial win (terms were not disclosed). 

For Spotify, Parcast will become the newest producer in its growing parade of podcasters.

Sometimes truth is more popular than fiction

Max Cutler and his father, Ron Cutler, a lifelong radio producer, launched Parcast in 2016 to capitalize on the growing popularity of nonfiction audio programming (Serial came out in 2014 and kicked off the true-story craze in podcasting).

In just 3 years, the Cutlers expanded Parcast from 1 to 18 shows (7 of which debuted in the top 3 of Apple’s Podcast charts) and grew to 2 studios and 20 employees.

But Parcast is just getting started: The studio has plans to release 20 new shows later this year.

Spotify’s audio onslaught continues

In February, Spotify announced plans to spend an additional $500m to extend the parade of podcasting purchases that began with the $340m acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor.

Parcast is the next addition to Spotify’s lineup, and it will give Spotify access to cheap (albeit non-exclusive) production and a large audience. 

Parcast’s prolific podcasts are all produced in-house, which keeps costs down for Spotify, and their programs are already popular among listeners (75% of whom are women) in all 50 states and across the world. 

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