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Audioboom narrows losses as it concentrates on high-margin content

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 18 Jul 2019

Audioboom narrows losses as it concentrates on high-margin content

(Sharecast News) - Podcast production and distribution company Audioboom reported a 171% improvement in revenue in its half-year results on Thursday, to $9.8m.
The AIM-traded firm said its adjusted EBITDA loss almost halved to $1.4m for the six months ended 30 June, from a $2.8m loss at the same time last year.

Its overall loss for the period "materially reduced" to $2.8m from $5.2m, and group cash as at 30 June stood at $3.4m, compared to $0.4m at the end of May 2018.

The company raised £4.3m before expenses through a placing and subscriptions, in order to secure leading podcasting content and develop co-production and Audioboom Original Network (AON) opportunities.

It also secured a new content funding facility with SPV Investments, which was providing up to $4m of minimum guarantees to certain leading content partners of the firm.

On the operational front, Audioboom said its key performance indicators all delivered "significant" growth, with revenue per 1,000 listens rising to $26.38 in June, up 51% from $17.43 in May last year.

The group's brand advertiser count was 212 at period end, up 63% on 31 May, while first half total available premium advertising impressions were 691 million, up 36% year-on-year.

Audioboom said it had continued to work with the "most prominent" podcasts through renewed advertising and distribution deals, including 'Undisclosed' and the official Formula 1 podcast 'Beyond the Grid'.

New exclusive commercial partnerships were agreed with podcasts including 'A Cast of Kings', 'What Happened When' and Studio 71, which the board described as a leading digital video studio and network with seven billion monthly YouTube views.

Audioboom added that it had a roster of new commercial partnerships to announce in the second half.

At its AON production operation, the company said development had continued with a slate of new podcasts expected to launch in the second half, complementing returning seasons of 'Mafia', 'INBOX' and 'Covert', as the firm targeted the higher gross margins that AON podcasts delivered.

Since launching in August last year, 22 brands had utilised the Sonic IM platform, which enabled brands to secure advertising within "any globally available" podcast.

A new subscription service tier was launched alongside annual payment options for smaller podcast partners and those that did not carry advertising.

"We are delighted with the company's performance during this period, with strong progress in every area of the business," said chief executive officer Rob Proctor.

"Revenue growth of 171% on the first half of last year is over four times that forecast by the IAB for the US podcast advertising industry from 2018 to 2019.

"This in turn is driving significant improvements for the company in its journey to profitability."

Proctor said with gross margin tracking to plan, and overheads remaining under tight control, the firm was now starting to see the impact of its improved operational gearing.

"With a record 135 million individuals listening to at least one Audioboom podcast in June 2019, the company's global reach presents many possibilities within the digital marketplace."

That platform would create new commercial opportunities, Rob Proctor claimed, as podcasting and audio continued to attract global investors.

"Forward sales for the second half of 2019 are already at record levels and I anticipate continued strong performance for the second half of this year.

"Content creators and advertisers continue to join our global platform, and I look forward to updating shareholders with future developments during the second half."


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