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Acast establishes milestone partnerships with Sowt and Kerning Cultures Network to bring Arabic language content to global advertisers

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May 18, 2023

The partnerships signify Acast’s advancements in The Middle East and Northern Africa

Podcast networks Sowt (صوت) and Kerning Cultures Network (شبكة كيرنينج كلتشرز) have joined Acast. The world’s leading podcast company will use its extensive expertise, reach, and relationships with advertisers to enable the monetisation of the networks’ content, ensuring Arabic voices become more accessible to a broader audience.

Recognizing the immense potential of Arabic language content, Acast’s partnerships with Sowt and Kerning Cultures Network mark a significant first for the podcast company. While Acast is already working with major podcast advertisers like Aramco and The Public Investment Fund who are active in the region, there is still a vast untapped potential for the podcast industry in the Middle East and North Africa, as Arabic is spoken by over 350 million people worldwide.

Adam Uytman, Creator Network Business Development Director, International at Acast, said: “We consistently seek opportunities to support the growth of the podcast industry and to provide value to content creators. 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.”

Sowt is a pioneering podcast network with over 25 podcasts – including Manbet (مَنبِت), Eib (عيب) Dom Tak (دُمْ تَكْ), and A Thousand and One Nights (ألف ليلة وليلة). Sowt’s content reaches millions of people in Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt, Algeria, and Jordan. Sowt’s mission is to leverage the power of audio to inspire diverse Arab listeners through bold and nuanced content.

Kerning Cultures Network is the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East. Female-led and featuring chart-topping podcasts such as A Superbly Scientific Podcast (بودكاست علمي جدا), Business Al Mahtawa (بزنس المحتوى), Swipe Left (اسحب لليسار) and Jasadi (سدي), the network creates award-winning immersive podcasts for curious listeners.

“Acast moving into MENA is the first time an international player demonstrates a serious interest in building the creator economy for podcasters regionally, and it’s smart: podcasts are an estimated $6B 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.” - Hebah Fisher, Cofounder and CEO, Kerning Cultures Network.

Acast will distribute Sowt and Kerning Cultures Network’s podcasts across listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else listeners get their podcasts. Advertisers will be able to buy both sponsorship and ads, able to be purchased either programmatically or direct.

Acast-hosted podcasts generate 400 monthly listens globally and now span languages including Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, and more.

About Acast

Since 2014, Acast has been creating the world’s most valuable podcast marketplace, building the technology which connects podcast creators, advertisers and listeners. Its marketplace spans 100,000 podcasts, 2,300 advertisers and 400 million monthly listens. Crucially, those listens are monetized wherever they happen - across any podcasting app or other listening platform.

The company operates worldwide and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Acast is listed on the Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market (ACAST.ST).

About Sowt

Sowt is a leading digital audio company producing high-quality and premium audio content focusing on Arabic-speaking audiences. Sowt means ‘voice’ or ‘sound’ in Arabic.

Sowt Originals have been featured in international media, have topped the Apple Podcasts charts and been selected as Editor’s Choice by Apple Podcasts. In 2022, Sowt acquired Finyal Media, a Dubai-based award-winning podcast company that has produced some of the best Arabic fiction podcasts, marking a substantial push forward for Sowt’s content, audience and commercial opportunities.  

About Kerning Cultures

Kerning Cultures Network is an independent podcast company, raising the bar for audio storytelling and journalism in the Middle East and North Africa. Featuring 17 Arabic and English podcasts that regularly top the charts across the region, KC stories have aired on This American Life, Radiolab, 99% Invisible, Gimlet Media, and more.

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