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Acast Signs Tortoise Media to Host and Distribute Slow News Podcast

Acast has signed Tortoise Media, to its network of publisher partners which includes the BBC, the Guardian, Financial Times, Economist, gal-de and Hearst.

The partnership with Acast will enable the fast growing audio-first media platform to distribute its journalism podcasts, including The Slow Newscast and Sensemaker, to every listening platform, and monetize its content for non-members through dynamically-inserted ads and sponsorship through the Acast Marketplace.

Tortoise Media launched in 2019 with a slow news approach to journalism with a membership-subscription model, focusing on the in-depth stories that really matter – in the UK and around the world.

Its slate of podcasts launched with the weekly Slow Newscast, hosted by former Guardian and HuffPost journalists Basia Cummings. The podcast takes a considered approach to news podcasting and is Tortoise’s flagship podcasts.

More recently, at the start of 2021, Tortoise launched Sensemaker, a daily news podcast that examines one story every day to help listeners make sense of the world. Episodes typically run for five minutes and distal topics such as the race for Covid-19 vaccines into digestible podcasts that can be listened to in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Tortoise studios is headed up by Ceri Thomas, former Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Panorama, and Basia Cummings, former Editor at The Guardian and HuffPost. Its four part series My Mother’s Murder was recently number one in Apple’s UK News category and The Slow Newscast was one of Spotify’s favorite new shows of 2020.

“As an audio first publisher Acast was the logical podcasting partner of choice for Tortoise’s growing podcast journalism,” said Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Media and Co-Head, Tortoise Studios. “We’ve seen a significant rise in listeners of our podcasts in recent months. I look forward to building on our success and unlocking our audio strategy as a new revenue stream through Acast’s bespoke podcast monetization model.”

“Tortoise Media is one of the most exciting news organizations in the world right now, and its approach to the newsroom is exceptional, especially at a time where it’s critical to take stock and consider the facts of an unravelling story,” said Sam Shetabi, director of UK content at Acast. “Adding Tortoise to our growing number of publisher partners strengthens our growing journalistic podcast offering, and is indicative of the flexible and powerful podcasting solution Acast offers publishers for hosting and monetization.”

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