In an effort to expand further into the world of audio production, the Official Journal has acquired the only podcast (other than yours) that your parents have definitely heard of. The New York Times Company issued a press release last night noting that it has reached an agreement to buy Serial Productions, the podcasting house behind the hugely popular show of the same name.
the OK, whose later reported document is valued at about 25 million dollars, brings the podcast into the same department that has produced The Daily since early 2017. Serial creators Julie Synder and Sarah Koenig will become Times staffers as Serial Productions editor and executive producer, respectively.
The acquisition also finds PRX’s favorite show, This American Life, in “partnership” with The Times. The Ira Glass-hosted radio show served as the launch pad for the first Serial podcast, and like Serial, there is undoubtedly considerable overlap between the show’s audience and The Times’ readership. The Venn diagram isn’t a circle, but it’s probably as close as it gets. In terms of content and tone, honestly, there probably couldn’t have been a more fitting acquisition.
The deal also follows the acquisition of Audm by the NYT, a startup that creates audio content from long-form journalism. The company will go with Spotify, which has spent a lot of money to buy podcast exclusivity. Last year, the streaming service bought Gimlet and Anchor for a combined $340 million and recently acquired exclusive rights to the controversial Joe Rogan Experience.