Acast signs Tortoise Media to host, distribute & monetise its podcasts

Acast has signed Tortoise Media to its network of publisher partners — which includes the BBC, the Guardian, the Financial Times, The Economist, gal-dem and Hearst.

Acast signs Tortoise Media to host, distribute & monetise its podcasts
Ceri Thomas: “As an audio-first publisher, Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism.”

The partnership with Acast will enable the audio-first media platform to distribute its journalism podcasts — including The Slow Newscast and Sensemaker — to every listening platform, and monetise its content for non-members through dynamically inserted ads and sponsorship as part of the Acast Marketplace.

Tortoise Media launched in 2019 with a slow news approach to journalism and a membership-subscription model, focusing on the in-depth stories that matter – in the UK and around the world.

Its slate of podcasts launched with the weekly Slow Newscast, hosted by former Guardian and HuffPost journalist Basia Cummings. The podcast takes a considered approach to news podcasting and is Tortoise’s flagship podcast.

At the start of 2021, Tortoise launched Sensemaker, a daily news podcast that examines one story every day to help listeners make sense of the world. Episodes typically run for five minutes and distill topics such as the race for Covid-19 vaccines into digestible podcasts that can be listened to in the time it takes to brew a coffee.

Tortoise Studios is headed up by Ceri Thomas, former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Panorama, and Basia Cummings, a former editor at The Guardian and HuffPost. Its four-part series ‘My Mother’s Murder’ was recently number one in Apple’s UK News category, and The Slow Newscast was one of Spotify’s favourite new shows of 2020.

“As an audio-first publisher, Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism,” said Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Media and Co-Head, Tortoise Studios. “We’ve seen a significant rise in listeners of our podcasts in recent months. I look forward to building on our success, and unlocking our audio strategy as a new revenue stream through Acast’s bespoke podcast monetisation model.”

Acast hosts more than 20,000 podcasts worldwide and monetises global hits including Sh*gged Married Annoyed, Katherine Ryan Telling Everybody Everything, and Doctor’s Kitchen with Dr Rupy, as well as podcasts from major publishers including Today In Focus, Stories Of Our Times and FT News Briefing.

Acast pioneered true dynamic ad insertion technology in podcasting — which allows for the delivery of timely, contextualised podcast ads specific to listeners across any device or platform, says the company.

“Tortoise Media is one of the most innovative news organisations in the world right now, and its approach to the newsroom is exceptional — especially at a time where it’s critical to take stock and consider the facts of a unravelling story,” said Sam Shetabi, director of UK content at Acast. “Adding Tortoise to our portfolio of publisher partners strengthens our growing journalistic podcast offering, and is indicative of the flexible and powerful hosting and monetisation solution Acast offers.

Tortoise Media’s podcasts are distributed via Acast and are available on every podcast listening platform, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify.

For advertisers looking to work with Tortoise Media podcasts, they will be able to exclusively via the Acast Marketplace.

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