Is one of the most popular entrepreneur and tech podcasts for sale?
Rumor has spread that a podcast for sale on Website Closers for $15 million is the popular Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast with John Lee Dumas. In the world of tech, we see a lot of different companies for sale in everything from e-commerce to SaaS to service-based businesses but a widely popular podcast is a first.
While we can't confirm this entirely, the description matches that of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast. So assuming this business list is in fact EOFire, is it really worth $15 million? Let's take a look.
What Is the Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast?
The Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast was one of the first widely popular entrepreneurial podcasts. It was founded by John Lee Dumas and debuted over 10 years ago when the podcast landscape was less competitive (especially for business podcasts).
Since its inception, it has over 145 million downloads spread across nearly 4,000 episodes. EcomCrew's very own Mike Jackness has also been a guest. Podcast guests are a mixture of people who pay to be on the show and those selected manually by the EOFire team.
Is It Really Entrepreneur on Fire That's for Sale?
First, let's be clear—I can't confirm 100% that this is the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. Now I could simply sign an NDA and get the exact prospectus from Website Closers to find out for sure, but then I wouldn't be able to write this article by the very nature of that NDA.
But let's look at a few facts from the Website Closer's listing compared to publicly available info from EOFire:
- 145M+ listens (EOFire has 146,722,125 listens)
- 11 years in operation (EOFire was established in 2012)
- 3,500 interviews to date (EOFire has 3,988 episodes)
- Every month, the company releases its Income Report on the website (EOFire releases an income report every month)
- Managed by a team of 3 virtual assistants (EOFire has a team of 3 virtual assistants)
In conclusion, either this is the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast or there's a parallel podcast universe that exists in another dimension.
Why Is John Lee Dumas Selling?
It's not entirely clear why John Lee Dumas is selling EOFire, but typically there are a few reasons why people sell a business:
- A major life event occurred (e.g., a birth, death, injury, etc.)
- The owner has another project they're wishing to pursue.
- The owner has run into financial difficulty.
- The owner is burned out.
- Business is declining or the owner thinks it will soon and he wants to maximize value while he can.
Maybe John Lee Dumas has a big crypto project he's looking to invest in or maybe he's just burned out. However, my guess is that the podcast landscape has gotten incredibly competitive and JLD thinks now is the time to sell for maximum value.
This suspicion is supported by his publicly available income reports. For the first four months of the year, income has been down significantly compared to the previous two years.
Of course, this is entirely my speculation. For a sale like this, it's normally a combination of many factors and that's almost certainly the case here.
Is the Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast worth $15 Million?
So this all begs the question: is the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast worth what it's selling for? The EOFire is listed for sale at basically a 6x “multiple” (i.e., selling price as a multiple of income). According to Website Closers, income is around $2.5 million, and they're asking for $15 million.
The trouble with trying to value the EOFire podcast is there are no real comparables. E-commerce businesses have very well-defined valuations (basically somewhere between 2.5x to 3.5x Seller's Discretionary Income). SaaS businesses are similarly easy to value. Strictly content businesses, such as blogs, (which is what EOFire is arguably closest to) also tend to be in the 3x multiple range. But very few podcasts have ever been sold.
Joe Rogan's deal with Spotify for a reported $200 million was a widely publicized podcast deal, but the magnitude of that podcast was way different and Rogan had committed to continue running the podcast for some time. According to the Website Closer's listing, John Lee Dumas is committed to “staying with the company until a smooth handover is complete with whoever will become the new face and voice of the brand.” In other words, Dumas is not looking to stay as the voice of the podcast.
The fact that John Lee Dumas doesn't want to stay on indefinitely is likely going to be a very significant sticking point for any potential buyers. Will the podcast continue on the same trajectory once JLD leaves? It's hard to say. To Dumas' credit though, the podcast does follow a very systematic approach and is not nearly as personality-driven as many other podcasts.
Will the Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast Find a Buyer?
I actually think there's a decent chance EOFire could find a buyer, but there would be a couple of very big contingencies.
The first contingency is that there's some negotiation room on price. A 6x multiple is very aggressive for any content-based business. There is a lot of uncertainty about whether the current trajectory can be sustained for 6 years out, and buyers will likely not want to pay a premium with that uncertainty.
The next contingency is John Lee Dumas staying with the podcast for an extended period of time. Most buyers will probably want a commitment from JLD similar to the multiple of the deal. If he sells for a 6x multiple, they're probably going to want a commitment at around 6 years from JLD, probably something he doesn't want to commit to.
What do you think? Is EOFire a good deal at $15 million? Do you think it will find a buyer? Let me know in the comments below.