LiveXLive Buys Podcast Network PodcastOne for $18 Million

PodcastOne network includes shows from Shaquille O’Neal, T.I. and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Podcast network PodcastOne was acquired by event streaming operator LiveXLive for $18.1 million in stock.

The acquisition is expected to close in June and marks Beverly Hills-based LiveXLive’s first investment the podcasting industry.

PodcastOne was founded in 2013 to be a network dedicated mostly to celebrity and influencer-hosted shows. Pre-quarantine, the network said it produced over 350 new podcast episodes each week. Its star-studded host roster includes former WWE star”Stone Cold” Steve Austin, NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal, heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, Dr. Drew and rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris, among others.

“We’re excited to expand our business into the fast-growing podcast category, complementing our music platform of streaming audio, on-demand video and live event performances,” LiveXLive chief executive Robert Ellin said in a statement Friday.

Ellin said the acquisition gives LiveXLive access to PodcastOne’s strong advertising revenue stream. “Once acquired and integrated, we will have a significant opportunity to cross-sell and cross-promote to our respective subscribers, advertisers, and sponsors.”

The deal also provides “our collective artists and on-air talent with an expanded platform to increase their social media and online presence,” Ellin added.

As part of the acquisition the LiveXLive and PodcastOne teams, which are both based in Los Angeles, will merge, “tripling the size of the current LiveXLive sales team,” the company said. LiveXLive said it will also integrate PodcastOne shows into its live music social platform of the same name in a bid to offer more original programming.

PodcastOne said achieved over 2.1 billion downloads last year. Its PodcastOne ad-supported platform runs on a subscription model where users can either subscribe to their favorite individual shows or buy monthly access to the entire network. Individual show subscriptions cost $5 monthly, while network access is $9.