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Several creators who left the Kast Media podcast network say the company owes them substantial sums of money, running into six or seven figures from advertising sold on their shows. Some creators have gone public on social media and others have confirmed individually hot pod that the company has not paid them for several months.
Instead of making the late payments, Kast CEO Colin Thomson formally or informally offered the creators a deal in which they would be paid a partial amount of the money owed in cash and the remainder in PodcastOne stock on the condition that they signed a deal to take their podcasts to the new company as part of a proposed Acquisition of intellectual property, several creators said hot pod. PodcastOne, a former subsidiary of LiveOne, has since become a separate public company and went live on the Nasdaq last week.
Comedian Whitney Cummings, host of the podcast. Good for yousaid hot pod that he believes Kast Media owes him at least $350,000 in advertising sponsorships, though the amount could be higher.
“This whole thing is a nightmare,” Cummings wrote in an email. Cummings, who signed a multi-year partnership with Kast in December 2021, left the network in June. Several other high-profile creators have left Kast, including Theo Von, Logan Paul, Jason Ellis and Tony Hawk.
First launched in 2016, Santa Monica, California-based Kast Media quickly rose to prominence as an independent podcast network with an eye toward video podcasts as well as film and television development. As recently as last December, it was ranked No. 10 on Edison Research’s list of podcast networks with greater reach. However, Kast Media was hurt by this year’s weak advertising market and, like many other audio companies, suffered layoffs.
In May, Kast and LiveOne announced a proposed intellectual property acquisition where more than two dozen podcasts on the Kast Media network, including Good for you – would join the ranks of LiveOne.
But Kast left out a crucial detail: Kast podcasters would have to accept this. Cummings and several other creators have yet to sign any deals with PodcastOne. Several Kast network creators said hot pod that were not consulted prior to the publication of the press release.
Something that is important to keep in mind is that LiveOne will never actually acquired Kast: the former signed what is known as a “letter of intent” to acquire certain assets in Kast’s intellectual property portfolio. The press release contained a warning that clearly stated that the proposal was far from a sure thing: “The letter of intent with Kast Media is not binding… There can be no guarantee that the proposed acquisition will be completed and/or within of the planned schedule. .”
While the problems at Kast began to become apparent to some creators as early as the fall of 2021, people who worked on both the business side and the narrative side of the Kast podcast are telling. hot pod that they didn’t realize something was wrong until the spring of this year. three creators said hot pod They contacted Thomson about the missing checks, but when he didn’t respond, they began contacting other people in Kast’s office, including business director Mike Jensen, who oversaw all sponsored ad sales but didn’t typically work with creators. . .
Michael Ojibway, the creator of the true crime podcast invisible choir, who signed an exclusive ad sales deal with Kast in the fall of 2021, said he got into the habit of expecting late payments from Kast. His first check from Kast was late, as were all subsequent payments. He noted that if he couldn’t get through to Thomson, he would talk to either Jensen or Kast’s chief accountant, Michael Calabretta, neither of whom seemed to know when he would be paid.
“There were several points where I had to check my instincts. “I was seeing red flags, specifically with Colin, but more broadly with how the company handled accounting specifically, which led me to aggressively and proactively ask about pay,” Ojibway said.
The problems with Kast increased over the summer, when several creators began sharing that they were not getting paid. Then things came to a head this month, when one of the country’s biggest podcasters spoke out. Former Kast podcast network host Theo Von posted a roughly 10-minute video video on YouTube on September 6 titled “This Man Let Our Podcast Down” in which he alleged that Kast Media owes him and a group of other creators more than $4 million for ads running on their shows. Von, who hosts the chart-topping podcast This last weekendleft Kast at the beginning of the year and United The Rooster Teeth Podcast Network in March.
“Our podcast was let down. They robbed us. They took advantage of us; There are many ways to say it. The company that did it is Kast Media and the man that did it is Colin Thomson,” Von said. He estimated that Kast owed him This last weekend a six-figure sum, though he said he’s spoken to creators who allege the company owes them seven figures in back payments.
Von’s video, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times, was posted two days before PodcastOne debuted on the Nasdaq. PodcastOne’s shares fell shortly after opening for trading on September 8, falling from $8 a share to more than $4. At the time of this article’s publication, PodcastOne is trading at $2.78 per share.
In an email to hot pod, Von said he personally knew six different creators who were owed amounts ranging from $1.5 million to $600,000. Von said Kast owes his show a six-figure amount.
A couple more hosts have gone public with their dealings with Kast on social media. Jason Ellis, co-host of Falcon vs. Wolf podcast with Tony Hawk, aware a revealing video on Instagram last week where he called out the duo two year contract with Kast “one of my biggest regrets in podcasting.” He said Kast still owed the duo money for anchor-read ads that ran on his show.
“If you see Colin Thomson’s name on a podcast, you should know who you’re dealing with.”
“If you see Colin Thomson’s name on a podcast, you should know who you’re dealing with. And if you’re a podcaster and any of those guys reach out to you, know that I haven’t met a bigger f***ing person,” Ellis said in the video.
In an Instagram message, Ellis confirmed hot pod Those two Falcon vs. Wolf and his own podcast, The Jason Ellis Show, signed with Malka Media. “We won’t be getting any money back haha,” Ellis wrote.
Jim Cornette and Brian Last, co-hosts of The Jim Cornette Experience, they have also made it public that Kast owes them money. Last and Cornette have published a series of Youtube videos over the past two months, where they recount their interactions with the company, insult Thomson, and spill mostly unverified tea. Cornette and her podcasts are now part of Rhapsody Voices, a new podcast network launched by Jensen, who left his position as Kast’s chief business officer this summer.
Scott Porch, the founder of Big IP Media, which includes podcasts The John Campea Show Podcast, The big thing, Dan Murrell Podcast, and Star Warssigned a multi-year distribution agreement with Kast in February. But she left soon after and signed an exclusive advertising deal with Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast in July. Kast’s first payment was the only one that arrived on time, Porch said. He said in a text message to hot pod that Kast owes Big IP Media more than $150,000.
In total, PodcastOne has only closed deals with a handful of former Kast podcasts: Brendan Schaub. grid of podcasts, The Schaub Show, The fighter and the boy and The golden hour, as well as Some more news and spin-off podcast Even more newshosted by Cody Johnston and Katy Stoll.
Thomson was involved in some of the early conversations about joining PodcastOne. But the company no longer plans to hire him, according to Thomson and LiveOne CEO Rob Ellin.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance Last week, Ellin indicated that the company knew Kast was in bad shape and that the goal of the deal was to recover its assets. “We’ve bought a… very distressed and troubled asset,” he said of the acquisition of Kast’s podcast intellectual property, which is still in the works, adding that he “owed a lot of money to his podcasters and really couldn’t afford the luxury of paying them.” pay them.”
Thomson responded to the numerous allegations against him in a phone call with hot pod on Tuesday. His version of events is as follows: Kast went under due to a weak ad market this year and the company fell behind on its payments to creators. Thomson met with investors in March and said none were interested in investing in podcasting. He finally met Ellin in late April and they began exploring a way for PodcastOne to serve as a possible lifeboat.
“PodcastOne has as good a reputation as anyone in the business. They were coming up with solid deals for the Kast shows,” Thomson said.
While Thomson acknowledged that PodcastOne originally wanted to offer him a position at the company, he emphasized that it was not his priority. “I have to say that was explored from the beginning, but it was never a focus for me. “I never tried to negotiate anything,” he stated. Thomson’s real priority, he insisted, was the creators.
“I don’t deserve some of the things that were said about me, but I do deserve some of the things that were said about me too.”
Regarding the videos of Von and the presenters of The Jim Cornette ExperienceThomson has a mixed response. “I don’t deserve some of the things that were said about me, but I do deserve some of the things that were said about me too,” Thomson said. He acknowledged that some creators may have been “unhappy” with the deals offered by PodcastOne or have remained in the dark about Kast’s financial status for so long. He understood that the creators were angry with him and assumed that many of them felt “led” by him. He denied all allegations of fraud, although he noted that there were “business decisions” that he regretted.
“I’ve done some serious soul-searching and reflection, and I believe that as a business leader, you have to weigh the pros and cons.”