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Podcast Media Company Audio Up Raises Nearly $10 Million in Series C Funding

Company says it will use the funding to build an outpost in Nashville, acquire intellectual property and develop content

Audio Up Executives
Bridger Scott

Podcast and music media company Audio Up, founded and led by music production pioneer Jared Gutstadt, announced the initial closing of its Series C funding round of that was just shy of $10 million.

The company, formed in 2020, said the round gives it a $150 million pre-money valuation. With the funding, Audio Up has raised more than $20 million to date. Among the latest round’s top contributors was longtime Audio Up investor Ben Lurie, who will be joining the company’s board. “Jared is an incredible visionary in the media space and I’m betting on his leadership,” Lurie said in a statement.

Audio Up’s previous investors include The Weeknd, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, Larry Rudolph, Entertainment One CEO Darren Throop, producer Will Ward, and Howard Draft, as well as media companies SiriusXM, Amazon’s MGM, Primary Wave and Reservoir Media.

“We have achieved an incredible amount in a very short time frame,” Audio Up’s Gutstadt (formerly of Jingle Punks) said in a prepared statement. “Having our business organized around a small group of elite media companies and entertainment luminaries allows us to grow in a way few can match.”

Audio Up plans to use the funding to continue ramping up the music side of the business, building on the company’s joint venture with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) that launched in the spring of 2022,. Among its top objectives in 2023 is to strengthen its vertical integration strategy by building new studios and post-production facilities in Nashville, complementing its operations based in Los Angeles that include the Audio Chateau recording space in Brentwood.

The Nashville location, dubbed Audio Chateau South, will be an outpost for podcast and music creators. The list of Audio Up’s Music City collaborators includes Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, Breland, Willie Jones, Scarlett Burke and Elle King, with more to be announced in 2023.

Audio Up also will use the funding for intellectual-property acquisitions to grow its content slate, which has generated more than 40 million podcast downloads and nearly 100 million music streams across 30-plus podcasts released in the past two years alone. The company recently announced a deal with Harlequin to produce podcast adaptations based on 52 books from the romance publisher’s catalog.

In addition, proceeds from Audio Up’s Series C raise will fund the creation of new podcasts, music and other content. To date, the company has collaborated with the likes of Nas, Machine Gun Kelly, 24kGoldn, Iann Dior, Maejor, Nile Rodgers, Nessa Barrett, Travis Barker, Scarlett Burke, Trippie Redd and Poo Bear.

“Audio Up has become a true gateway for content development and the testing of new IP,” Gutstadt said. “Along the way, our podcasts are becoming a new discovery platform for music and are hitting a blind spot being missed in this inherently audio-centric media… Come for the podcast, stay for the music.”

Audio Up’s top properties in 2022 include the Spanish-language podcast “Dia de Los Muertos in Hell,” which topped podcast charts in Mexico and the U.S. simultaneously; the scripted-country musical podcast “The Ballad of Uncle Drank” and “Make It Up as We Go,” one of Audio Up’s marquee podcasts now in its second season.

The company’s premium audio entertainment projects also include Stephen King’s horror series “Strawberry Spring,” released through iHeartPodcasts in 2021. Coming in 2023, Audio Up will release an adapted seven-episode series for Audible, “The Playboy Interviews: Icons and Iconoclasts,” and the upcoming 13-episode adaptation of famed crime novelist James Ellroy’s “American Tabloid,” also through Audible.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Audio Up president David Thwaites, founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt, chief creative officer Jimmy Jellinek

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