Podcasting is having a moment.
Podcast advertising network Midroll Media of Hollywood announced Wednesday that it has been bought by media company E.W. Scripps of Cincinnati for an undisclosed amount.
A niche medium previously, podcasting has grown in popularity recently. That is thanks partly to the “Serial” podcast, a multi-episode nonfiction show that explored a mysterious murder conviction. “Serial” has been downloaded over 68 million times, since its launch in 2014, and has spawned greater public interest in the podcasting genre.
Midroll’s network doesn’t include “Serial,” but sells advertising on behalf of about 200 other podcasts and produces 35 podcasts of its own, which focus on comedy and pop culture.
By buying up Midroll, Scripps is betting it can capitalize on the popularity of podcasting while it’s young and growing. Midroll’s network will give Scripps a large share of the podcast advertising market.
Podcasts have proven to be highly effective advertising formats for direct response marketing campaigns. They also typically have wealthy and well-educated audiences. Those characteristics could help Scripps demand higher than usual advertising rates.