WPP continues to hedge its content bets, announcing a strategic investment this week in promising podcasting company, Gimlet Media Inc.
WPP said it is investing $5 million for an undisclosed minority stake in Gimlet, citing such branded content customers as Alphabet Inc., Ford Motor Co., PepsiCo, Match Group, eBay, Blue Apron, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Gimlet was founded in 2014 and has 85 employees. It has raised $27 million in funding to date.
The company’s podcasts are downloaded more than 12 million times per month in more than 190 countries worldwide.
Its programming covers a variety of vertical genres, including startup businesses, Internet culture, music, fiction, history, science, true crime, Black culture, etc.
Gimlet also produces branded podcasts on behalf of advertisers, including “Define the Relationship” for Tinder/Match Group, “Open for Business” for eBay, “The Venture” for Virgin Atlantic, “The Secret to Victory” for Gatorade, and “future” for Microsoft.
WPP said the investment is a continuation of a “strategy focusing on three key areas that differentiate” its offering: technology, data and content.
Digital content investments made by WPP to date include: Russell Simmons' All Def Digital, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Mic, Mitú, Refinery29, Uproxx Media Group and VICE.