SCA Podcast Division now in profit: Grant Blackley

SCA’s podcast division PodcastOne moved to its break even point a few months ago and is now beginning to make profits, according to CEO Grant Blackley.

Over the past two and a half years, the company has spent about $5 million setting up the division and recruiting podcasters.

Recent podcast rankings (which do not currently include the ABC) have shown a number of SCA podcasts in the top 20, allowing the company to monetise the popular audio products.

Podcast revenue “has increased by 300-400% compared with the prior period,” said Blackley, speaking exclusively to radioinfo.

“Our strategy has been to treat this as a separate business within SCA, with a clear focus on strategy and profit. I’m pleased to say we are now trading cash flow positive.”

The offerings from PodcastOne are expanding all the time. The current 65 original content creators are expected to increase to 85 in the new year.

“Podcasting is a platform of its own within the audio sphere, and we are treating it that way… the podcast ranker will help marketers judge where to put their dollars on that platform,” he said.

Blackley also talked about the new local breakfast innovation being trialled in Adelaide across all SCA’s digital stations (see our previous report), and gave some insights into the company’s DAB+ strategy over the coming 12 months.

“We can light up 3 or more digital stations. We’re in no rush, we want to take our time, but we see that there may be opportunities for more diversification.

“We would be open to multilingual programming, talk, or any other permutation that drives additional reach across all demographics… We like to keep an agile state of mind.”

With Nikki Clarkson recently promoted to the role of Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, the company is still in the process of filling two more senior roles, Chief Content Officer and the head of People and Culture. Blackley would not be drawn to speculate on who will get the roles, which are expected to be filled within about a week.

“We are in the final stages of talking to the short listed candidates, we have had a lot of interest from Australia and internationally for these roles. Once we appoint them we will have a full complement of senior leaders which will help the company begin next year very strongly,” Blackley told radioinfo.



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