Europe’s largest radio group has swooped to acquire Sheffield-based podcast hosting platform Captivate.

Captivate hosts more than 14,000 podcasts and has developed a range of features to help podcasters with distribution, first-party attribution and promotion.

Global is home to respected, national market leading media brands including Capital, Heart, Classic FM, LBC, LBC News, Global’s Newsroom, Smooth, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold. 

It is also one of the leading ‘outdoor’ companies in both the UK and Europe, with over 235,000 sites reaching 95% of the UK population. Its portfolio encompasses Transport for London’s Underground network, almost all major UK airports including Gatwick, the UK’s largest portfolio of roadside posters and premium digital screens in prime locations, as well as the UK’s largest network of buses including all major cities.

On-air, on Global Player and with our outdoor platforms combined, Global reaches 51 million individuals across the UK every week, including 25.7 million on the radio alone.


Founded by Mark Asquith and Kieran McKeefery – who will be staying with the business – Capitvate will be integrated into Global’s audio entertainment offering Global Player, and podcast creators will be able to scale up monetisation opportunities with Global’s proprietary digital ad platform DAX (Digital Ad Exchange).

“Our vision for Captivate has always been clear: to proactively help independent podcast creators build their audio brand and to deliver a diverse range of monetization options for them,” said Asquith. 

“Joining Global allows us to continue to fulfil that vision by bringing DAX and Global Player to Captivate podcasters, while also providing more opportunities for the platform to positively contribute to the future of the industry.”


Global Player has experienced massive growth thanks to the rising popularity of smart speakers and increased digital listening. As well as streaming live radio, Global Player users can skip songs and go to playlists, watch video from guest interviews and listen to a wide range of podcasts, including Global Originals such as My Therapist Ghosted Me and Hunting Ghislaine.

The acquisition of Captivate follows Global’s recent acquisition of US-based digital audio content and technology startup Remixd. 

Now integrated into Global Player and DAX, Remixd technology enables digital publishers to convert online written articles into audio content with targeted adverts inserted, as Global continues its focus on scaling digital audio.


Les Hollander, CEO DAX, North America, said: “Captivate offers a suite of creator tools including hosting and monetization options through their self-service platform, one that’s highly regarded by the worldwide audio market. 

“Combining Captivate technology with the soon-to-be -launched DAX Audio SSP in the US allows Global and DAX to offer a complete ad stack to creators and publishers with an array of options for automated monetisation. 

“Podcasters both large and emerging will be able to enjoy world class capabilities to enhance their offerings. As podcast content and advertiser demand continue to accelerate, there is a continued need for automated solutions.”