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Podcast streaming services are flourishing

Podcasts have reached the mainstream, with 57% of global youth aged 14-34 considering them important to their life. As the medium grows in popularity and cultural relevance, with Hollywood even turning to this format for content, new podcast platforms are emerging to meet consumer demand. Catch The Cassandra Daily Podcast every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play.

HIMALAYA

The latest player in the podcast distribution space is Himalaya, which recently raised $100 million in funding to grow its platform of 20 million syndicated episodes, as well as launch exclusive content. Himalaya offers unique social features such as the ability to like and comment on episodes, as well as create playlists so listeners can curate content and share it with others. In the future, Himalaya plans to add a tipping feature so listeners can support the creators they like, as well as a sleep timer so that they can hear podcasts as they go to sleep.

CASTBOX

Cassandra finds that nearly one in five young people across the globe listen to podcasts from other countries. Castbox, which seeks to be "the Netflix for podcasts," makes it easier for them to find and listen to new titles, as it offers more than 95 million works. Having secured $25.9 million in funding to date, the service recently expanded into original programming. Beyond hosting a wealth of titles, Castbox lets users search for content based on specific words within a podcast. Instead of needing to know what a podcast is called or who created it, they can search based on the topic.

LUMINARY MEDIA

Last spring, Luminary Media raised $40 million to join the growing number of companies offering a podcast streaming service. Much like Netflix, Luminary will charge a monthly fee for access to titles, instead of making money through ad revenue, and creators earn money in exchange for the rights to their titles. Though Luminary and similar services seek to make podcast listening more concentrated, they're also reaching consumers by offering original content. Luminary anticipates that within 36 months of launch, about 75% of its titles will be original creations. And while Spotify is putting increased focus on podcasts with the recent acquisition of Gimlet Media and Anchor, the influx of dedicated podcast streaming services indicates that the medium is only growing.