Trevor Toczydlowski

Gimlet Media: One Man Start-Up to $230 Million Sale

When Alex Blumberg started Gimlet Media, he obviously thought that he had a good idea that could be successful, but I don’t think there is any way that he could’ve imagined that just five years after starting his start-up he would be selling it to media giant Spotify for $230 million.

Of course the value didn’t just appear on its own. Blumberg and Leiber had to work hard to build the kind of programming that people wanted. They built a network of many successful podcasts that any number of consumers could enjoy.

Blumberg talked in an interview with Peter Kafka of the Recode Media podcast about how the deal started and was ultimately completed. It took just five days from when Kafka broke the news to the deal being announced as complete. They had considered staying independent and possibly going public but decided that selling and getting guaranteed profits would make the most sense.

While the purchase of a media company by a larger media company makes sense, sales of these brands aren’t always that clear. As is the case with Chatchaval Jiaravanon’s purchase of Fortune magazine for $150 million. Chat, as he is referred to by those close to him, is a Thai billionaire whose family owns many large companies in Thailand. His purchase is an interesting situation because he doesn’t have a media background. He is simply a man with a lot of money, who sees this as an opportunity to make a lot more money.

I think that purchases like the one made by Chat will become more common in the coming years. Before if you had lots of money to spend, you’d buy a sports team but those aren’t coming for sale as often as the used to be. Legacy media companies have the foundation to regain the kind of glamor that they used to have and can still have a chance to make their owners money.

3 thoughts on “Gimlet Media: One Man Start-Up to $230 Million Sale

  1. I really liked the part where you said, “Legacy media companies have the foundation to regain the kind of glamor that they used to have and can still have a chance to make their owners money.” I think that it really does hold true that these type of sales within the media industry will not be uncommon in years to come. Also, I like how you point out that they created a number of podcasts that adhere to a wide range of audiences. This ensures that their industry within Spotify will be something anyone can enjoy, and I think you really captured that in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that purchases like Chat will in fact become more common. It seems like people are more interested in the investments of media and technology and innovation than sports teams now. It makes sense and hopefully the glory days of media can be brought back with these big purchases. Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trevor,
    Just your headline is eye-grabbing. Having listened to the StartUp podcast, we really watched as Blumberg went from a one-man, stressed out team with a mission that seemed impossible to a successful media professional acquired by one of the hottest platforms — Spotify. These acquisitions are becoming more and more prevalent in the media industry as you mentioned, and I do believe this is the way the industry is headed.

    Liked by 1 person

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