Podcast company

Exclusive: Launch of subscription podcast company Quake

Quake, a subscription podcast company founded by media veterans, launched on Tuesday with $ 2.5 million in seed funding, executives told Axios. He’s making his debut with exclusive political shows and hopes to expand into religion, sports, and possibly Hispanic media.

Why is this important: There is a growing trend for podcast companies to poach top talent to launch exclusive shows, which ultimately forces users to subscribe to more than one podcast company.

“” It seems to be inevitable in the media these days. We’ve seen it in digital video and with the rise of streaming services, I know there are a lot of podcast purists out there, but there have been a lot of podcast services that haven’t been able to to monetize significantly on advertisements. “

– Mike Morrell, President of Quake Media

The company launches with six exclusive shows major political and media figures including Laura Ingraham, Soledad O’Brien, Gretchen Carlson, Mike Huckabee, Andrew Gillum, Marc Lamont Hill and Buck Sexton. (Hill and Sexton will be launching a podcast together.)

  • The founders of Quake include Mike Morrell, former ESPN reporter and Bleacher Report executive, and Doug Rosenberg, former political executive who started one of the first syndicated radio shows in Spanish in 2012.
  • The goal is to Use these types of exclusive big names to attract subscribers to the platform for a monthly fee of $ 4.99 or an annual fee of $ 49.99. All shows are ad-free.
  • Investors understand Wndrco, a holding company founded by media veterans like Ann Daly and Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as a few other individuals.
  • The company has 4 full-time employees and 8 full-time contractors.
  • The app is available on Apple and Android, and the content is accessible at QuakeMedia.com.

The big picture: News and politics podcasts rose 98% in downloads compared to the same period last year, according to data from podcast analytics company Podtrac.

  • The founders see politics as a good gateway to building an following, as many of the talents it has tapped into already have massive following.
  • “All of the talent we’ve recruited has significant media experience,” says Rosenberg. “We are not training newbie political stars to do something like that.”

Be smart: Quake is launching a network that looks a lot like digital radio. It focuses on verticals like religion, news, and sports that sound like radio shows, not things like real crime or evergreen storytelling.

  • “We’re like the next version of satellite radio,” says Rosenberg. “The digital version.”
  • Other subscription podcast companies, like Luminary, focus on more persistent shows. Luminary has signed mega-stars in the podcast space, but is less focused on recruiting national political and media figures.

And after: Rosenberg says the company may explore additional fundraising when it looks to expand its political podcasts after the election in the coming months.

  • The company hopes to have at least 50 shows locked down by next year. “We have these conversations now,” says Rosenberg.


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