Acast Open launches to give brands an on-ramp to podcasting

The company is offering three different subscription levels, including a free “Starter” subscription.

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The podcasting platform Acast has launched Acast Open, making available its podcast production offerings to any brand or publisher wanting to start a podcast. Acast Open includes three subscription models — Starter, Influencer and Ace — that come with different levels of support and analytics.

Why we should care

Adobe Analytics reported that podcast app usage grew 60% over the past year. Not only does this translate to new advertising opportunities for brands — the increase in podcast popularity opens the door for any company or executive ready to take their content marketing to a new level via a branded podcast.

“Digital audio brings a new and untapped audience who are not reachable via traditional media,” says Sally Yu, director of research and insights for BBC Global News’ APAC division, during a recent event organized by BBC News and Campaign Asia, “It brings additive value to the traditional media reach.” Outside of music streaming, the top three forms of audio content consumed right now are music (67%), news (50%) and podcasts (37%), according to a study commissioned by BBC News that focused on the commercial opportunities of branded podcasts.

If your brand — or CEO — has value to add to a larger industry conversation, a branded podcast may be the piece of content marketing that sets you apart from your competition and helps you reach a whole new audience. Platforms like Acast and Spotify’s “create a podcast” app aim to make it easier for brands to join the ever-growing list of podcasters.

More on the news

  • Acast reports that any podcasts produced on its platform that appear to be attracting “a significant enough listenership” may be invited to join its premium network of podcast shows.
  • Acast’s current network includes a number of popular podcasts, such as “My Dad Wrote a Porno,” “Forever35,” and “Wahlgren & Wistam.”
  • Acast Open is the result of Acast’s acquisition of Pippa, a technology platform that provides hosting, analytics, and monetization capabilities for podcasters. Acast purchased Pippa in April.
  • The free Starter model includes a podcast RSS feed for distribution, basic analytics and a basic website for the podcast. The Influencer level is $14.99 a month and comes with advanced analytics and YouTube and Spotify support. Ace, the most expensive offering at $29.99 a month, is designed for companies in need of more advanced podcasting tools.

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Shutterstock’s new music subscription offers affordable music licensing for content creators

The $149 per month plan includes standard licensing to more than 11,000 music tracks, with hundreds of tracks added monthly.

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Shutterstock has launched an unlimited music subscription plan for content creators and digital marketers, offering more than 11,000 tracks that can be included in web-based content, including YouTube videos, podcasts and conference presentations.

The subscription fee is $149 per month, and includes access to the Shutterstock Music library with music tracks searchable by genre, mood or popularity. The company says its music selection has been curated by professional musicians, with hundreds of tracks added every month.

Why we should care

This latest offering from Shutterstock gives digital marketers and content creators the ability to spice up their content — putting a professional shine on things like podcast intros, YouTube ads or conference and trade show presentations. At $149 per month, it’s a cost-effective feature for marketers lacking the budget and resources to invest in high-end music productions for various projects.

“Our new unlimited licensing option empowers creators to license music as their needs arise and frees them to focus on the creative vision rather worrying about budget,” said Shutterstock VP of Product Christopher Cosentino.

Shutterstock is also adding “shorts” and “loops” music offerings to all of their licensing plans, making available shortened versions of a song (shorts) or segments of a longer song that repeats indefinitely (loops).

More on the news

  • The newly added shorts and loops come at no extra cost with all of Shutterstock plans. The shorts offer 15-second, 30-second and 60-second versions of songs.
  • Shutterstock now boasts a community of more than one million contributors, with hundreds of thousands of images added every week.
  • The image, video and now music licensing site has more than 280 million images and more than 16 million video clips available.

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