Wondery has launched its own app that features its lineup of original programming, Variety has reported. The app is available for download now on Apple’s App Store and on Google Play. (The Google Play version might be in beta). The Wondery App is free, and includes in-app purchases.
According to Variety, the goal of the app is to entice listeners to pay to listen to Wondery podcasts ad-free. In other words, they hope the app will make customers choose to buy a subscription to Wondery+
“Very early on, when I started the company, we knew at some point we wanted to have our own place where listeners could listen to the Wondery shows,” Hernan Lopez CEO of Wondery, said. “But we also knew we had to wait until we had enough shows, and the Wondery brand had enough breadth for people to go through the trouble of downloading an app and use it on a daily basis”.
A monthly subscription is $4.00/month. An annual subscription is $34.00/year. It appears that those who download the Wondery App can buy Wondery+ through it. Wondery+ comes with exclusive episodes and the full Wondery+ catalog, completely ad-free. The exclusive ad-free content includes Blood Ties, The Sneak, and Hollywood and Crime: Billionaire Boys Club.
Unlike other podcast apps, Wondery’s app will only include Wondery shows. To me, it sounds like a really good deal for people who are already fans of the company’s podcasts. This is especially true for people who listen to episodes of Wondery podcasts every day.
The Wrap reported that two former 21st Century Fox sports marketing executives were charged with bribery earlier this month in the U.S government’s FIFA corruption investigation. The investigation was focused on the bribes made to soccer officials with millions of dollars in exchange for lucrative media and marketing rights to international tournaments and events.
The Guardian reported that Carlos Martinez, former president of Fox Latin America, and Hernan Lopez, former chief executive of Fox International Channels, had been charged with wire fraud and money-laundering offenses.
The Wrap points out that they were charged alongside Uruguayan sports company Full Play Group and Gerard Romy, the former co-CEO of the Spanish Media company Imagina Media Audiovisual.
A quote from Hernan Lopez’s lawyer appeared on several news sites that discussed this situation:
“It’s shocking that the government would bring such a thin case,” Matthew Umhofer, an attorney for Lopez, also said. “The indictment contains nothing more than a single paragraph about Mr. Lopez that alleges nothing remotely improper. Mr. Lopez can’t wait to defend himself at trial.”
On April 9, 2020, The Guardian reported that both Carlos Martinez and Hernan Lopez were granted bail set at $15m, with an evening curfew and international travel bans imposed. Both men pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.
It is worth noting that Wondery is still doing well. You don’t have to worry about your favorite Wondery shows disappearing, or otherwise being affected, by the FIFA controversy.
AdWeek reported that NBC News and Wondery have teamed up to develop a slate of news and politics podcasts beginning in 2020. As part of the multiyear deal, NBC News and Wondery will work together on news and politics podcast series based on reporting from NBC News’ slate of investigative reporting.
Additionally, Wondery will take over ad sales and marketing for NBC News’ existing podcasts, opening up those programs to Wondery’s network of advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. Any new programming the companies jointly develop and produce will be marketed and sold by Wondery’s sales team. NBCUniversal’s sales team will still be able to include the podcasting slate in cross-platform advertising deals. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In addition, Wondery has teamed up with Ranieri and Co., (an Australian and New Zealand podcast company). Ranieri and Co. will be the local representative for Wondery. Ranieri and Co. was launched by former Tribe executives Rob Ranieri and Nick Randall.
Nick Randell told Mumbrella the intimate relationship between listeners and podcasts allows brands to get very back-to-basics with their approach and return to basic storytelling, something he’s delighted to be involved with. Nick Randall said:
You can tell if a radio ad has been inserted straight into a podcast, there’s a jarring experience, because radio ads are created to stand out in a bank of eight or ten ads, so they can be quite aggressive, but that doesn’t work in a podcast when it’s just one ad. You’ve got to respect that relationship and look at it differently.
In the new partnership between Wondery and Ranieri and Co., Wondery will be the entry point for Australian brands to access Wondery’s portfolio of podcasts which include hit shows Dr. Death, Dirty John, The Shrink Next Door, Business Wars, Imagined Live, Generation Why, and Over My Dead Body.
Podcast Leaders Stitcher and Wondery are joining forces to provide advertisers and brands in the United Kingdom with the ability to buy premium advertising inventory locally and globally into a top-tier roster of podcast shows.
The joint venture, Podfront UK, represents the first time advertisers in the U.K. have the opportunity to directly access a large catalog of household-name podcasts from Wondery and Stitcher.
Podfront UK will open a new path for podcasters to monetize their shows within the U.K. marketplace and will source high-quality podcasts and talent out of the U.K. For a growing international audience. This level of investment marks a pivotal growth moment in podcasts, bridging global content brands.
According to Stitcher’s sales organization, Midroll, the U.K. ranks third in listening across the company’s network of more than 250 podcasts, with listeners tuning in to shows like Freakomomics, WTF with Marc Maron, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. Blockbuster hits from Wondery include Dirty John, and Dr. Death, are also making waves overseas with millions of listeners tuning in from the U.K.
Podfront will be led by podcast veteran Ruth Fitzsimons, who comes to Podfront UK from London-based Audioboom, where she was senior vice president of international Indian and Australian operations. In her new role as managing director of Podfront, Fitzsimons will build a sales, content and marketing team tasked with growing the Stitcher and Wondery networks by monetizing existing listening in the U.K., bringing U.K.-based brands to the U.S. market and expanding to European countries where there is demand.
Universal Music Group (UMG) and Wondery have announced an agreement to develop premium original podcasts drawing upon the breadth and depth of UMG’s renowned musical catalog as well as its iconic roster of artists and labels.
Podcasts produced under the agreement will be available globally on any platform Wondery makes its content available. Wondery, with credits that include Dirty John, Dr. Death and Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football, Inc., is the fastest company to join Podtrac’s Top 10 New Podcasts, holding both the #1 and #2 spots in 2018.
The premium original podcasts created by Wondery and UMG will serve as an “extension of the compelling narratives and content that UMG is already creating around its artists, labels and catalog.”
The podcasts will also become an incubator for UMG’s growing slate of critically acclaimed film and television projects, as well as a meaningful platform to reach audiences with content from short and long-form programming from the company’s Polygram Entertainment and its numerous record labels worldwide. UMG has been developing and producing podcasts since 2012.
Podnews points out that this joint agreement does not mean that Wondery can start using all of UMG’s songs. Podnews states: “UMG owns the recordings, but not typically the publishing rights for the songs, which would also need to be agreed.”
Wondery tweeted: “We have decided to part ways with Mike Boudet and Sword and Scale.” The tweet was posted on March 9, 2019.
Sword and Scale is a true crime podcast. It is described on iTunes as “an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.”
Sword and Scale was first hosted on Wondery in 2014. It is unclear exactly why Wondery decided to part ways with Mike Boudet and the Sword and Scale podcast. Wondery’s tweet did not provide any background information.
That being said, The Wrap appears to have some ideas about what may have caused Wondery to part ways with Sword and Scale.
According to The Wrap, Mike Boudet posted something offensive on Instagram which included a derogatory word that some people use when they want to say something mean about a woman – or women in general. The now deleted post on Instagram was posted on International Women’s Day.
But, we cannot conclude, for certain, that the Instagram post was what made Wondery part ways with the podcast. The Wrap has provided additional examples of Mike Boudet making derogatory or sexist comments. One can only speculate about what offensive comment was the last straw for Wondery.
The Wrap reported that Mike Boudet responded to Wondery’s decision in a Soundcloud file. He said that Sword and Scale will move to its own platform behind a paywall.
Wondery has introduced Wondery+. It is Wondery’s effort to provide an even more immersive experience to their fans. Wondery+ enables you to access behind the scenes content as well as brand new, unreleased, episodes. It is a subscription based service. The price is $5 per month.
Wondery makes it clear that all subscriptions auto-renew monthly or annually. Wondery+ can be cancelled at any time. There are no refunds.
The way Wondery+ users receive their content is interesting. New episodes of Wondery podcasts will be uploaded to the user’s private RSS feed, which can be accessed from any post in their Member Portal. Users can add their private RSS feed to Apple Podcasts and listen to new content as it is uploaded.
Wondery+ users will only need to add their RSS feed to their app once, and episodes will be updated automatically. It is not necessary to add the private RSS feed to the app per episode. If your podcast app of choice does not support private RSS links, you can stream the episode right from your phone or desktop.
Wondery+ users will receive Tides of History episodes one week before it is released to the public (each Thursday). They will receive Business Wars episodes each Monday and Wednesday, one day before their normal release. Behind the scenes and new content will be distributed as it becomes available.
Another interesting thing about Wondery+ is that it appears it will be tailored to a specific genre of podcasts. For example, There is a Wondery+ True Crime grouping that includes ad free versions of Over My Dead Body, Cold, Dr. Death, Sword and Scale, The Vanished, andYoung Charlie. More will be includes as they become available.
Wondery, the largest independent podcast publisher, announced its new programming slate for 2019 at the Winter Podcast Upfront. Fresh off the success of its most recent #1 hit Over My Dead Body – with Episode 1 currently at 900 downloads, 80% higher than Dr Death in the comparable window – Wondery made the following announcements.
Wondery has extended its partnership with the LA Times to jointly produce Man in the Window, a true crime thriller that uncovers new and surprising details about the Golden State Killer. Wondery and the LA Times will also jointly distribute the series Larger Than Life and Room 20. Their first collaboration was the viral 2017 podcast Dirty John, which became a hit TV show on Bravo.
Wondery also announced a new partnership with Bloomberg. Under this partnership, Wondery and Bloomberg will jointly produce The Shrink Next Door, the bizarre true story of a successful businessman whose life was taken over by his psychiatrist.
Another major announcement was the return of Wondery’s acclaimed Inside miniseries, with Inside Star Wars. Written and hosted by Mark Ramsey, Inside Star Wars is an immersive audio-documentary that explores the making of Star Wars. Previous installments of the Insideseries include Inside Psycho,Inside Jaws, and Inside the Exorcist– all of which were smash hits.
Wondery also revealed the launch of several new ongoing series, including One Plus One and The Moment. One Plus One looks at what happens when two original thinkers come together to leave an unforgettable mark on the world, while The Moment explores the romance and absurdity of our lives’ most important moments.
In addition, Wondery is launching its first-ever sports show, In The Arena, which takes listeners into the most heated rivalries in sports history. Wondery is also launching a new interview series with actor Justin Long called Getting Along With Justin Long.
Wondery is an innovative startup specializing in mobile and on-demand audio. It creates and curates podcasts to connect wonderers and brands to a world of entertainment and a world of knowledge. Two of the podcasts on Wondery Network have hit Top 10 on iTunes.
Tides of History is hosted by historian and MMA specialist Patrick Wyman. The series explores how the roots of our present world can be found in the span of 1350 to 1650, including modern states, globalization, capitalism, science and more.
Tides of History also analyzes society from the perspective of ordinary people and how they experience the world. This podcast gives listeners the chance to analyze our current political climate and gain insights into how our society functions.
Within just two days of launching, Tides of History joined another Wondery show, Locked Up Abroad, on the top ten charts on iTunes.
Locked Up Abroad is an adaptation of the National Geographic TV series. It is hosted by Jim Clemente (host of the true crime podcast Real Crime Profiles as well as the CBS documentary on Jon Benet Ramsey.) Locked Up Abroad tells the riveting stories of travelers captured while abroad and features interviews with POWs, tourists, journalists, and more.
Having two shows in the top tin is a major win for the startup following its industry milestone and achievement of 100 million downloads this past May. Since launch, the network has over 20 partner shows and eight original series – one of which won the 2017 Webby Award for Best Sound Design/Original Music Score.