British company AudioBoom looks to gain a huge boost as it plans a $185m takeover of Triton Digital.

AudioBoom is an audio service, essentially a YouTube for audio content. Triton Digital, on the other hand, is a technology firm whhich creates broadcasting and streaming tech.

The purchase will constitute an odd kind of reverse takeover of Triton Digital. Instead of Triton Digital being absorbed into AudioBoom, the reverse will occur.

If the deal goes through, AudioBoom will change its name to Triton Digital Group and its chief executive Robert Proctor will step aside into an executive director position. Meanwhile, Triton Digital president Neal Schore and CEO Mark Rosenbaum will become CEO and CFO respectively.

What was said:

In a release, AudioBoom states:

“The proposed acquisition would constitute a reverse takeover… [and] will be subject to shareholder approval, the entering into and completion of a share purchase agreement and raising the funds necessary to finance the proposed acquisition via the proposed placing. As such, there is no certainty that the proposed acquisition will proceed nor any certainty regarding the terms on which it would proceed.”

Why it matters:

It’s understood that the reason for the takeover is that, according to AudioBoom, Triton Digital has “strong penetration of the US radio broadcaster market”.

That industry is worth $17.5bn per year in advertising, so it would be a significant boost if AudioBoom was able to tap it.

This could lead to increased exposure for AudioBoom’s users, but more importantly could grant AudioBoom access to American radio shows for use on its network. This is an area that AudioBoom have already experimented with in the UK. BBC Radios 2, 4, and 6 are all available on AudioBoom alongside Yahoo Sports Radio and Associated Press.

AudioBoom has been publicly traded almost since day one, but after the share price hit a high of £16.625 in September 2014, the company has gradually become less valuable. At the time of writing shares were worth £3.631.

Background:

What is AudioBoom?

AudioBoom is an on-demand audio and podcasting distribution service.

Operating since 2013, it has attracted a range of well-known companies and personalities to its service. Celebrities including Russell Brand and Stephen Fry use the service to share their own personal podcasts. Businesses who use the service include the BBC, NBC, the Guardian, the Premier League, and Westwood One.

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The service has business-to-business services for radio, media, and podcasters. In addition, it has direct-to-consumer apps and websites allowing users to listen on the go.

AudioBoom gained popularity among podcasters due to the ease of monetization options. These include built-in advertising and sponsorship options.

The company also has automated distribution deals with iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. This allows podcasters to send their content out automatically, without having to repost content across their accounts and social networks.

Podcasts are changing the way people consume content:

According to an annual report from Edison Research in 2017, the percentage of podcast listeners in the US was growing in almost all demographics.

Some 40 percent of those surveyed had listened to a podcast compared to 36 percent the previous year. As had the percentages of regular listeners. A further 24 percent had listeners to a podcast in the past month compared to 21 percent in the previous years. And 15 percent had listened to a podcast in the past week, up from 13 percent the previous year.

And according to the report, the term ‘listened to’ is significant. 86 percent claimed to have listened to a podcast either all the way or most of the way through.

The biggest consumers of podcasts are 18-34-year-olds of whom 44 percent have listened to at least one podcast. The second largest demographic is 35-54-year-olds of whom 33 percent have heard a podcast. Meanwhile, the podcast audience is mostly comprised of men. 56 percent of those who listened to podcast were male.

The study also found that podcast listeners were, on average, more wealthy and better educated than those who didn’t listen to them. That’s a particularly significant stat for podcast sponsors and advertisers.

Research also shows it’s a big audience, roughly similar in size to Twitter’s total active users.

The whole thing seems to be raising the profile of audio content across the board. According to Nielsen Audio ratings, radio listening is on the up too. For example, NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.4 million in autumn 2016. That represents an increase of nearly 4m years compared to the previous year for that radio station alone.

What are the most popular podcasts?

One of the most popular platforms for finding and listening to podcasts is through Apple’s iTunes service. That service also ranks podcasts on the number of downloads to give an idea about which podcasts are most popular.

These are the most popular on Apple:

  1. Atlanta Monster – HowStuffWorks & Tenderfoot TV
  2. A Very Fatal Murder – The Onion
  3. The Science Of Happiness – Pri And The Greater Good Science Center
  4. The Joe Rogan Experience – Joe Rogan
  5. This American Life – This American Life
  6. Kickass News – Mathis Entertainment, Inc.
  7. The Daily – The New York Times
  8. Stuff You Should Know – HowStuffWorks
  9. Making Obama – WBEZ Chicago
  10. Pardon My Take – Barstool Sports
  11. The Podium – NBC Olympics
  12. Conspiracy Theories – Parcast Network
  13. Embedded – NPR
  14. Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate – Slate
  15. WorkLife with Adam Grant – TED
  16. Pod Save America – Crooked Media
  17. Business Wars – Wondery
  18. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – Oprah
  19. Hidden Brain – NPR
  20. My Favourite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – Karen Kilgariff & Georgia

Of course, these are just a tiny sample of the podcasts available on Apple. There are many hundreds of thousands of hours of listening found across the internet.

All this being said, the very best podcast of all can be found right here: the official Verdict podcast.