DUBAI: Swedish podcast company Acast has partnered with two of the leading podcast networks in the Middle East, Sowt and Kerning Cultures, or KC, Network.
Acast, which helps creators to produce their podcasts and connects them with advertisers, has offices in 15 countries and a monthly listenership of more than 430 million.
Arabic is among the top five spoken languages in the world with more than 350 million speakers, making Arabic content lucrative for advertisers both in the Middle East and globally.
Recognizing the potential of Arabic language content, Acast has previously worked with Aramco and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to monetize Arabic podcast content, and the partnership with Sowt and KC aims to further bolster Acast’s Arabic language offering to global advertisers.
“With these partnerships, we will put thoughtful and noteworthy topics on a central stage in Arabic, and we will connect global and local advertisers with Sowt and Kerning Cultures Network to ensure they are able to continue to produce more and more podcasts,” said Adam Uytman, creator network business development director, international, at Acast.
Jordan-based Sowt produces more than 25 podcasts, such as “Manbet,” “Eib” and “A Thousand and One Nights,” while UAE-based KC, the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East, is known for shows such as “A Superbly Scientific Podcast,” “Swipe Left” and “Jasadi.”
Acast’s move into the Middle East marks the “first time an international player demonstrates a serious interest in building the creator economy for podcasters regionally,” said Hebah Fisher, co-founder and CEO of KC Network.
She added: “Podcasts are an estimated $6 billion market opportunity in MENA and have largely gone untapped. We’re thrilled to partner with Acast to grow our ad sales both locally and globally.”
Acast will distribute Sowt and KC Network’s podcasts across platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts. Advertisers will be able to buy both sponsorship and ads, either programmatically or directly.