Why Did Libsyn Buy a Web Host?

From Libsyn’s Press Release:

Libsyn announced today that it closed its acquisition of Internet hosting company Pair Networks, Inc. (“Pair”) on December 27, 2017. Libsyn paid $13.5 million in cash and issued 1,579,613 shares of restricted common stock valued at $2.5 million to acquire 100% of Pair.

If you think about this purely from a podcast industry perspective, it’s hard to see why this acquisition happened. The trend has been for companies in the podcast space to expand their presence across verticals to become “full service”. If you segment the industry into a series of verticals: creation, discovery, monetization, hosting, and playback then E. W. Scripps comes the closet to being “full service”: Earwolf (discovery), Midroll (monetization), Stitcher (Playback). Libsyn chose to expand outside the podcast industry.

Why did Libsyn buy Pair Networks? Two things spring to mind; maybe LibSyn has ambitions to become the next Squarespace rather than the next E. W. Scripps? Secondly, as Apple, Spotify and Google slowly into the industry what if, say, Google (with it’s massive cloud infrastructure) decided to offer podcast hosting? They would decimate the hosting vertical overnight.