Tag Archives: Wondery

Wondery and Tinkercast Announce New Strategic Partnership

Wondery and Amazon Music, announced a strategic partnership that will begin by focusing around an exclusive licensing and ad sales partnership with all new existing content from Tinkercast, the leading kids and family podcast company.

Starting in September and expanding into 2022, Wondery will gain exclusive rights to Tinkercast merchandise and exclusive distribution and ad sales rights to podcast content, including hit shows Wow in the World, Two Whats and a How, Camp WeWow, and more to come.

Tinkercast will launch two new shows in the coming months: Who, When, Wow! and Flip and Mozi’s Guide to How to Be an Earthling. Created by Tinkercast and hosted by Rebecca Sheir (Circle Round), Who, When, Wow! is an auditory journey into the lives of unsung heroes, unknown heroines, and amazing humans. Each episode immerses kids and their grown-ups in a historical narrative around one fascinating figure you might not hear about in school but brought WOW to our world!

The second new Tinkercast Original follows alien travel guides, Flip and Mozi, who crash their UFO into Earth and have to call a “tow ship” from their home planet. So they do what any good travel writer, blogger, or ponder would do, and decide to wait out the 3,000 lightyears it will take to arrive learning How to Be An Earthling! Flip & Mozi’s Guide to How to Be an Earthling features Tinkercast’s signature “cartoon-for-the-ear” audio animation and The Pop Ups award-winning stylings to inspire today’s kids to find harmony with the earth and be caretakers of all our animal earthlings! Flip & Mozi are curious and not-so-courageous reporters that encourage listeners to explore their own world and submit “field reports” of animals they observe to be featured on the podcast!

New Tinkercast content will be released one week early, exclusively available on both Amazon Music, and ad-free on Wondery+. New episodes will continue to be available on all podcast services after the one-week exclusive window. Additionally, Amazon Music and Wondery will expand Tinkercast’s merchandising business with new products and Prime shipping, and its availability to even more listeners through voice with Alexa.

“Tinkercast has led the way in engaging the hearts, minds and imaginations of young listeners, creating fun ways to educate and enrich their lives,” said Jen Sargent, Wondery CEO. “ We are thrilled to partner with the leader in kids and family audio content as we continue to build our slate of content for everyone to enjoy.”

“We are beyond proud to have our kids and family content live alongside Wondery and Amazon Music shows and we can’t wait to wow audiences with our new original podcasts through this partnership this fall.” said Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Tinkercast CEO.

Wondery is home to family storytime podcast Little Stories Everywhere hosted by Academy Award Nominated Actor Virginia Madsen and celebrated voice actor Robbie Daymond. Little Stories Everywhere brings you magical, adventurous, fantastical tales for the entire family. And first-of-its-kind immersive storytelling podcast Imagined Life Family, with the same hosts, will take you on an immersive journey into the life of someone who has made a positive impact on the world, from Lin Manuel to Jane Goodall. This new partnership with Tinkercast signals Wondery’s intent to expand even more into the kids and family content space.

Wondery Signed an Agreement to Join Amazon Music

Wondery announced that it has signed an agreement to join Amazon Music. When the deal closes, nothing will change for listeners, and they’ll continue to be able to access Wondery podcasts through a variety of providers. With Amazon Music, Wondery will be able to provide even more high-quality, innovative content, and continue their mission of bringing a world of entertainment and knowledge to their audiences, wherever they listen.

Wondery is an innovative podcast publisher with a track record of creating and producing top-rated podcasts that entertain and educate listeners, including Dirty John, Doctor Death, Business Wars, and The Shrink Next Door. Wondery is already delighting listeners with its collection of immersive podcasts, and the company is evolving this entertainment medium into a truly new and exciting experience.

Amazon Music launched podcasts in September 2020, and together with Wondery, Amazon Music hopes to accelerate the growth and evolution of podcasts by bringing creators, hosts, and immersive experiences to even more listeners across the globe, just as they do with music. This is a pivotal moment to expand the Amazon Music offering beyond music as listener habits evolve.

Amazon Music’s commitment to podcasts, their focus on high quality audio with the Amazon Music HD tier, and our recent partnership with Twitch to bring live streaming into the app, make Amazon Music a premier destination for creators.

Together with Wondery, Amazon Music will continue to bring more customers to streaming as they expand selection and ensure they are a destination for their customers to find, discover, and listen to the creators and artists they enjoy.

The New York Times reported that Hernan Lopez, Wondery’s founder, will step down as chief executive when the deal with Amazon closes, and Jen Sargent, Wondery’s chief operating officer will take over management, according to an Amazon spokeswoman. The New York Times also reported that Amazon would not “predict” when the Wondery deal was expected to close.

Wondery Explores a Potential Sale

Bloomberg reported that Wondery, the company behind Dr. Death and Dirty John, has hired financial advisers to explore a potential sale. According to Bloomberg, Wondery is expected to garner at least $200 million if it pursues a sale and could fetch a much as double that, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bloomberg article stated that this matter has not yet gone public. Personally, I become a bit skeptical about news that is announced in this way. I’m not doubting that Bloomberg spoke to people that had inside information about the potential sale. My concern is that situations like this one, that are not yet made public, have the potential to fizzle.

Wondery was founded by Hernan Lopez in 2016. Previously, he was the former CEO of Fox International Channels. He left his job running 350 international TV channels for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Inc. in order to build a new podcast network. Wondery teamed up with ART19 to help with distribution and infrastructure and dynamic ad insertion across multiple podcasts.

In 2019, Wondery introduced Wondery + a subscription service that auto-renews monthly or annually. Subscribers get behind the scenes content, as well as brand new, unreleased, episodes. According to Bloomberg, Wondery+ enables Wondery to not be entirely dependent on ads for revenue. Wondery launched the Wondery Podcast App this year, which is free to download. Wondery+ is accessible through the Wondery Podcast App.

Bloomberg pointed out that one potential hurdle in a Wondery sale is a “legal issue”. CEO Hernan Lopez was indicted in a FIFA bribery case in April of 2020. Hernan Lopez has pleaded not guilty. Another problem is that, according to Bloomberg, Wondery doesn’t own the intellectual property for some of its shows.

Wondery Appoints DAX as its Exclusive Advertising Partner in Canada

Wondery announced the appointment of DAX, the pioneering digital ad exchange from Media and Entertainment group, Global, as its exclusive advertising sales partner handling Wondery’s advertising inventory in Canada.

Wondery produces numerous hit shows across the globe surpassing 1 billion downloads including Business Wars, The Shrink Next Door, Dr. Death, and Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment. Wondery’s slate of content also includes NBC News podcasts and School of Greatness as well as Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast, The Bill Bert Podcast and The Dollop in its portfolio.

Wondery’s podcasts are distributed across a wide array of platforms across Canada. Its portfolio contains eight #1 shows and has grown downloads 154% during the first half of 2020 v 2019. Wondery is also the first podcast network to expand into local language marketplaces with the launch of eight language editions of Dr. Death and six language versions of Business Wars (including French), and many more to come.

The partnership will enable DAX to offer Canadian brands and advertisers spot ads and host- read podcast sponsorship.

Commenting on the announcement, Declan Moore, Head of International for Wondery, said “We are thrilled to partner with the DAX team in Canada. In addition to Host and Producer/Network reads, Wondery is expanding its product offering to include spot and programmatic solutions. The DAX team have established hundreds of successful partnerships with leading brands, and we’re excited to connect marketers with the rapidly growing Wondery Canadian audience.”

Chris Nimigon, Chief Revenue Officer of DAX Canada added: “Wondery have created an impressive portfolio of hit shows which we’re extremely excited to share with our advertising partners. With podcast audiences growing consistently across the globe, our new partnership creates a clear opportunity for brands and advertisers to align with Wondery’s quality productions and reach engaged listeners across Canada, at scale.”

Wondery Launched the Wondery Podcast App

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.

Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez Indicted in FIFA Bribery Case

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.

Wondery Teamed Up with NBC News and Ranieri and Co.

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.

Stitcher and Wondery Join Forces on Podfront

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 and Wondery will Make Podcasts Together

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.”