Category Archives: Podcast News

Spreaker has a Partnership with Podchaser



Spreaker announced that they kicked off 2020 with their partnership with Podchaser.

Spreaker describes Podchaser as “like the IMDb of podcasting with a social layer”. Podchaser boasts a wide range of features including podcasts and episode reviews, user-curated lists, custom categories, over four million creator and guest credits, the ability to follow friends, podcasts, and creators, and much more. With their recent activity feed feature, users can see all of this engagement in real-time, leading to more discovery.

Unique Podchaser Benefits include:

Get Discovered and Get Feedback: Once you’ve claimed your podcast on Podchaser, you’ll receive notifications of new ratings and reviews for your podcast, gathering valuable listener feedback. Accumulate ratings to see your podcast rise in the ranks of Podchaser’s trending podcasts and episodes for discoverability. This activity will also be shown to other users via the activity feed, exposing your podcast to new audiences.

Grow Your Personal Brand: As the mastermind behind your podcast, creating a profile on Podchaser allows you to showcase all of your work, including any time you’ve helped produce another podcast or appeared as a guest on another podcast! Other users on Podchaser will easily be able to find and engage with you based on your interests and passions.

Find Guests and Partners: In the same way that creating a profile on Podchaser allows you to be found by others, its an incredible search tool for you to find other hosts, guests, producers, editors, voice actors, or just about any kind of collaboration you’re looking for!

Plus, you can harness the power of those guests by adding guest credits to your episodes. That way, anyone who follows your guest will receive a notification that they were on your podcast.


Warner Bros. Digital Networks Signs Deal with Rainy Day Podcasts



Warner Bros. Digital Networks announced a first-look deal with Rainy Day Podcasts – a new company formed by Jagged Films partners Mick Jagger & Victoria Pearman (“Shine a Light,” “Get on Up”,” “Vinyl,” “Enigma”), producer Steve Bing (“The Polar Express, “Marley”, “Neil Young: Heart of Gold”, “Shine a Light”), and Oscar-nominated writer Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”) – to produce a slate of original narrative podcasts. Warner Bros. Digital Networks will manage the business strategy related to the Rainy Day pact; Warner Bros. Television Group’s digital unit Blue Ribbon Content will be oversee the creative relationship; and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution will be responsible for distribution and sales of the finished podcasts.

Rainy Day partners Mick Jagger & Victoria Pearman, Steve Bing, and Josh Olsen said: “Everything starts with the word. We’re very excited to be working with Warner Bros. to create an environment where the best writers are free to pursue their passion projects with maximum creative freedom.”

Under the terms of the deal, Rainy Day will produce a slate of up to seven new podcasts series stemming from original intellectual property. Projects may include but are not limited to scripted dramas or comedies, non-fiction/docuseries, talk/discussion podcasts and more. To kick off the partnership with Warner Bros., Rainy Day has set initial production deals with acclaimed Peabody and Independent Spirit Award-winning filmmaker Allison Anders (“Grace of My Heart,” “Gas Food Lodging”), screenwriter John Bracanto (“The Game,” “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”), and writer/producer Zack Stentz (“Thor,” “X-Men: First Class,” “The Flash,” TV series).


iHeartMedia and OZY Media Announce Multi-Year Deal



iHeartMedia and OZY Media announced a new multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released in 2020 and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The partnership reflects iHeartRadio’s focus on growing its library of high-quality original podcasts for its hundreds of millions of listeners across the country and OZY Media’s continued expansion into original content for audio and TV.

“OZY’s global suite of diverse storytellers and story-finders focuses on what’s new and what’s next. These podcasts reflect the desire of younger audiences to broaden their minds and think bigger,” said Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of OZY Media. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the massively talented team at iHeartMedia to co-produce powerful and diverse podcasts for listeners.”

The first co-produced podcast in the slate will be Around the World, a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity. The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth. The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off from OZY’s series The Thread and a scripted podcast.

These narratives draw from OZY’s cutting-edge digital news stories and have evolved into podcasts that appeal to a wide range of curious listeners interested in seeing a broader and bolder world. In addition to co-producing the new slate of original podcasts, two of OZY’s existing news and culture podcasts – The Thread and OZY Confidential – will join the iHeartPodcast Network’s deep catalog of podcast titles.

As part of the deal, iHeartMedia and OZY Media will work together to co-produce these original podcasts for distribution and promotion across iHeartMedia’s multiple platforms including broadcast radio stations, iHeartRadio, its digital streaming platform, as well as social media channels. The iHeartPodcast Network has more than 750 original shows available to listeners nationwide.


Luminary Welcomes Richard Plepler to Board of Directors



Luminary Media has announced that Richard Plepler, founder of Eden Productions and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HBO, has joined Luminary’s Board of Directors. The company plans to make additional board announcements soon.

“Under Richard’s leadership, HBO set the gold standard for quality, bringing premium content across genres. I’ve seen firsthand Richard’s invaluable impact on a premium content business, and we welcome his strategic partnership as we endeavor to support creators, curate content for listeners, and drive Luminary’s business forward,” said Luminary CEO Simon Sutton.

“Podcasting has become such an exciting and dynamic medium for great storytelling,” said Plepler. “Luminary’s vision as a jewel box of premium podcast content where creators are enabled to do their best work and subscribers can consistently discover quality will make it easier for consumers to navigate an incredibly crowded space. I am thrilled to join the board, partner with Simon and the Luminary team, and help realize this vision.”

“Richard pioneered the concept of ‘curated excellence,’ and his deep content expertise aligns perfectly with Luminary’s approach to world-class talent like Trevor Noah, Lena Dunham, and Leon Neyfakh, as well as Luminary’s business model. We are fortunate to have him on the team,” said Matt Sacks, Luminary Founder and Executive Chairman.

Richard Plepler most recently served as Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), a position he held from 2013- 2019, culminating 28 years at the company. Prior, Plepler was the Co-President of HBO from 2007 – 2012. Earlier this month, Plepler announced the creation of Eden Productions, a film and television production company with a five-year exclusive deal with Apple TV+.


Audity Announced Partnership with Spotify



Audity, the audio company under the Asylum Entertainment Group (AEG) banner, announced a production partnership with Spotify, the world’s leading audio subscription streaming platform, as well as the appointment of veteran executive Frank Hajdu as Executive Vice President of Audity.

Under the deal, Audity will produce podcasts and audio-forward content across all scripted and unscripted genres for Spotify’s global audience. Launched last year, Audity is dedicated to cultivating communities where passionate storytellers can connect their voices, perspectives and stories directly to their followers and the broader audio universe.

In his new role, Hajdu will be responsible for building the company’s slate, business operations, and key partnerships, while also working with Asylum video producers to upstream select audio IP for television and film. An audio and digital veteran, Hajdu was previously Executive Vice President of Operations for Legendary Digital Networks where he oversaw The Nerdist Podcast Network (NPN), a roster of 40+ podcasts that collectively saw 10-12 million monthly streams.

Among the list of podcasts and talent NPN included The Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, and The Indoor Kids with Kumali Nanjiani and Emily Gordon. Additionally, he executed video distribution partnerships with Amazon, Facebook, Pluto TV and VRV. Prior, he served as Vice President of Business Development for MySpace Music and A&R at Warner Music Group.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Audity and AEG to bring their podcasts and projects to Spotify’s global audience around the world,” said Liz Gateley, Head of Creative Development, Spotify Studios. “We are already advancing some truly unique projects with Audity across a variety of genres and verticals.”

“Frank’s success in building The Nerdist Podcast Network positions him directly to help oversee Audity’s growth,” said Ryann Lauckner, President and Chief Strategy Office for Asylum Entertainment Group. “It’s the same targeted approach to nurturing communities and curated partnerships, all designed to provide a home for audio-forward storytellers to reach their unique audience.”


Apple TV+ Show “Little America” is Getting a Podcast



Apple TV+ has a show called “Little America.” It was created by Kumail Nanjani and Emily V. Gordon, the people behind “The Big Sick”, and “Master of None.” It appears that “Little America” might be getting a podcast.

“Little America” features eight half-hour length episodes that focus on a different story each time. It is an anthology series that observes the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and surprising stories of immigrants in America. Mac Rumors reported that “Little America” has been renewed for a second season.

Forbes posted an interview with Kumail Nanjani and Emily V. Gordon about the show. The interview also included Lee Eisenberg (who is also involved in the show). Lee Eisenberg discussed what it was like pitching a show to Apple. “They immediately got what we’re going for,” Lee Eisenberg said.

“Apple is such a worldwide and multi-faceted brand. We’re doing a podcast to delve more into the stories and music on the show. There’ll also be a playlist for every episode. We’re putting out a book too. Apple has an infrastructure that just felt like it would be able to touch all of the different pieces that we wanted.”

There hasn’t been any information provided about when, exactly, the “Little America” podcast would debut. It makes perfect sense for Apple, who is well known for Apple Podcasts, to be involved in making a podcast that connects to a show on Apple TV +.


MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has a Presidential Podcast



So You Wanna Be President? With Chris Matthews is the name of a podcast hosted by Chris Matthews of MSNBC. It is about how to win the presidency. At the time I am writing this blog post, the podcast has one trailer and three episodes.

The ultimate playbook for a winning presidential campaign. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and campaign veterans who have had front row seats to presidential history dive deep into the six most important lessons learned from presidential campaigns that win. Chris and his guests tap into their expertise, historical insight, passion for electoral politics, and love for our country to explain why these lessons matter, and how they’ve separated winners from losers.

Episode 1 is titled: “Win Iowa”. In it, Chris Matthews examines Jimmy Carter’s approach to the 1972 campaign with Gerry Rafshoon, who handled political advertising for the candidate, and veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, who covered the campaign in her early years with NBC.

Episode 2 is titled: “See Something, Say Somthing”. In this episode, Chris Matthews dissects the most memorable campaign turning points with Peggy Noonan, a Reagan speechwriter and Jon Allen, a political analyst at NBC News.

Episode 3 is titled: “The Walls Have Ears”. The description of this show is: The country is always listening – so don’t say something you don’t want every voter to hear.

More episodes are to come. You can find So You Wanna Be President? with Chris Matthews on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox and Tunein.


Lizhi Announced Pricing of Initial Public Offering



Lizhi Inc., a leading online UGC audio community and interactive audio entertainment platform in China, announced in January of 2020 that it has priced its initial public offering of 4,100,000 American depositary shares (“ADSs”), at US$11.0 per ADS for a total offering size of approximately US$45.1 million, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase any additional ADSs. Each ADS represents twenty Class A ordinary shares of the company. The ADSs were expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “LIZI” as of the January 17, 2020, announcement date.

Lizhi Inc. is a leading online UGC audio community and interactive audio entertainment platform in China, with a mission to enable everyone to showcase vocal talent. The Company is aiming to bring people closer together through voices.

Since launching Lizhi app in 2013, Lizhi has cultivated a vibrant and growing community encouraging audio content creation and sharing. Now, Lizhi is an audio wonderland offering a wide range of podcasts and audio entertainment products and features, including audio live streaming and various interactive products, empowering users to enjoy an immersive and diversified entertainment experience through audio.

TechCrunch reported that Lizhi is the first of its major compeditors, Ximalaya and Dragonfly to go public. (Tech Crunch notes that Ximalaya is expected to also list in the United States this year.) While all three companies host podcasts, audiobooks, and livestreams, Lizhi is the only one that focuses on user-generated content created with the Lizhi app’s recording tools.


Spotify will Acquire Bill Simmons’ The Ringer



Spotify announced today that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Ringer, a leading creator of sports, entertainment and pop culture content. The Ringer was founded by Bill Simmons in 2016.Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, Spotify continues to deliver against its goal to become the world’s leading audio platform. The Ringer will bring to Spotify its industry leading sports and entertainment team, podcast catalog and website, further expanding Spotify’s content offering and audience reach. With its popular show lineup, The Ringer also offers new opportunities for monetization along with a continued focus on deepening audience engagement and innovating formats within Spotify’s business model. Not only has Simmons been a podcast pioneer in sports, he has also been a dominant force in the podcast pop culture arena.

“We look forward to putting the full power of Spotify behind The Ringer as they drive our global sports strategy,” said Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer, Spotify. “As we set out to expand our sports and entertainment offerings, we wanted a best-in-class editorial team. Bill Simmons is one of the brightest minds in the game and he has successfully innovated as a writer and content creator across mediums and platforms. The Ringer’s proven track record of creating distinctive culture content as well as discovering and developing top tier talent will make them a formidable asset for Spotify.”

“Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres,” said Bill Simmons, The Ringer founder, and podcast host. “We spent the last few years building a world-class sports and pop culture multimedia digital company and believe Spotify can take us to another level. We couldn’t be more excited to unlock Spotify’s power of scale and discovery, introduce The Ringer to a new global audience and build the world’s flagship sports audio network. We’re joining one of the best media companies in the world. It’s an incredible day for us.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020 and subject to customary closing conditions.