How the Acquired Podcast Grew and Became a Top Tech Sensation

Feb 15, 2024


Every company has a story, and the acquired podcast brings all these stories to you!

In the eight years since Acquired started, it's become a massive hit and #1 tech podcast. Now, the show gets over 200,000 downloads per episode. 

But what makes Acquired Podcast these successful? 

The answer is almost accidentally pretty simple, Podcast is really good that made it a big hit. Host Bil Gilbert and Rosenthal don't just study the histories of the companies they talk about, they really dig deep. They find obscure books, read every important article, go through investor documents, and talk to people who are part of the story. A Study mentioned that for their episode about Nike, Rosenthal made a 39-page script and Gilbert wrote a 4,000-word document with important points to discuss during the recording. 

In this article, let’s explore all the factors of how Acquired Podcast grew, how it originated, who is the host, and the top episodes of Acquired Podcast. 

How Acquired Podcasts Started? 

Acquired Podcast has also an interesting acquired story. Gilbert and Rosenthal are two young investors who became friends nearly ten years ago. They began a podcast in 2015 to strengthen their friendship. 

Ben and David got the idea for their podcast because they share an interest in understanding the stories and dynamics behind major tech deals. They noticed that there wasn't a podcast available that delved deep into these transactions, exploring the motivations, strategies, and outcomes for both the acquiring companies and the startups being acquired.

With their backgrounds in venture capital, startups, and technology, Ben and David had the expertise and insights necessary to dissect and analyze these deals in a meaningful way. Over time, Acquired has become increasingly popular, drawing in a dedicated audience interested in the intersection of technology, business, and finance.

How Acquired Podcasts Grew?  

Constant Efforts. The key to everything is effort. In the beginning, Gilbert and Rosenthal spent about 5 to 10 hours researching each episode of their show. Nowadays, they put in around 100 hours of work, and it's paying off. Rosenthal said, "Every time we've put in more effort, people like it more, and the numbers go up."  Hosts just contribute their 100% to studying a brand and business and these efforts pay out. 

Acquired shouldn't be a popular podcast based on the usual things that make podcasts successful. It doesn't stick to a regular schedule, and its episodes, which look deeply into a company, come out about once a month instead of every week like most podcasts. Also, its episodes are really long, sometimes lasting three to four hours, while most people think podcast episodes should only be about 40 minutes. Acquired isn't superscripted, but it's not just two guys chatting casually either.

What makes Acquired special is that it doesn't follow the typical way of telling business stories. On the one hand, some reports just give you facts about a company. Then there are business school case studies, which focus only on the story without much analysis. Finally, there are stories from founders and CEOs, but they often don't look at the company's flaws and tough decisions.

How Acquired Became a Sensation? 

Acquired became a sensation as well, as it doesn’t even care about controversies. 

Another big reason why people like Acquired is because of the chemistry between the hosts. Rosenthal says that a big part of what makes the show special is how they work together. He enjoys telling stories, while Gilbert loves digging into the details and analyzing things.

The cool thing about the show is that the hosts don't know what the others will say next. They don't plan everything out beforehand so they can surprise each other during the episode with new information they've found. This leads to some fun moments in every episode. For example, in the Nike episode, Gilbert shares a surprising detail: Nike had a way out of its big deal with Jordan if he didn't become a basketball superstar.

Best Stories on Acquired Podcast - Top 5 Episodes

The Acquired podcast digs deep into tech companies while making it easy to understand. Hosts Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal uncover fascinating stories about these companies. As founders themselves, they know that telling stories is crucial for creating value.   

1. Bitcoin — Acquired

2. Rec Room Part II (with CEO Nick Fajt) — Acquired

3. Disney, Plus — Acquired

4. Sequoia Capital (Part 1) — Acquired

5. Virgin Galactic — Acquired

To get quick episode summaries, try Podnotes. This advanced AI tool saves time by providing summaries of episodes.

You can check out the top 10 acquisitions culled out by the Acquired Podcast hosts by tapping this link. They've covered all the details and stories behind these brands in their studies.

Acquired Podcast Listenership Data 

*The chart attached illustrates the growth and rise in downloads, shared by the host.

The show has over half a million listeners and has been ranked the #1 Technology show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It has 200,000 downloads for each episode. As Rosenthal mentioned in a Fast Company article last summer, they're dealing with a new issue: their audience has become so big that advertisers can't afford to pay the full price for their ads anymore. 

Summing Up 

The Acquired Podcast owes its success to hosts Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal. Their hard work, storytelling abilities, and great chemistry have made the podcast hugely popular in the tech and business communities. Each episode is must must-watch, you can make Podnotes your go-to tool for saving time and getting interesting stories discussed in episodes through short summaries in your preferred language.