Sony Music Entertainment is getting into making podcasts.
The major music group has announced a new joint venture with podcast developers Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer that intends to ‘find and develop original podcast talent and programming’.
Davidson is the co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money” and an award-winning contributor to “This American Life,” and Mayer is a top podcast and public radio producer formerly of Stitcher, Panoply Media, and WNYC among others.
According to a press release, the joint venture will ‘create and distribute original scripted and unscripted programming across multiple podcast genres and subject matters’.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Davidson and Mayer (pictured) will lead the yet-to-be-named company and focus on ‘cultivating dynamic talent and unique storytelling using Sony Music’s expertise in content creation and supporting new technologies for monetization’.
Davidson and Mayer stated, “It is a thrilling time to be in podcasting with major media and tech companies paying increasing attention to the industry as it quickly grows.
“Sony Music so impressed us with their focus on supporting artists and the creative process. They understand what it takes to attract the best people and create the conditions where they can do their best work.”
“We want to enhance opportunities for talented storytellers in this rapidly evolving audio entertainment segment.”
Rob Stringer, Sony Music
Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment said, “Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer are acclaimed, visionary journalists and leaders in the podcasting industry and they share our creator-first approach to content development.
“We want to enhance opportunities for talented storytellers in this rapidly evolving audio entertainment segment. This partnership will help creators grow their brands and share their work with global audiences across a variety of services and platforms.”
There are more than half a million active podcast shows now in existence and, according to Edison Research, the number of Americans spending time listening to podcasts more than doubled over the last four years.
Universal Music Group announced last month that it was to begin making ‘premium original podcasts’ in partnership with independent publisher Wondery. Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records launched its own podcast series featuring artist interviews last year.
Davidson co-founded and co-hosted NPR’s “Planet Money,” after serving as the international business and economics correspondent for NPR. He also has been a frequent contributor to “This American Life” where his co-reporting on the episode “The Giant Pool of Money,” received the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and Polk Awards and was named one of the top works of journalism of the decade by New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
In addition, he served as a technical consultant to co-writer and director Adam McKay on the Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short.” Davidson and McKay also previously served as co-hosts of the Gimlet Media podcast “Surprisingly Awesome.” Davidson is a Contributing Writer for The New Yorker. Before that he was an economics writer for The New York Times Magazine.
Mayer started her career in radio as a producer across multiple shows at WNYC New York Public Radio including the “Fishko Files” and “On the Media,” an hour long program covering journalism and technology.
She then joined podcast network Panoply Media where she served as the Managing Producer for all podcast production and launched dozens of shows and led the production of the first season of the podcast “Revisionist History.”
Most recently, she was the Executive Producer for Show Development at Stitcher where she was responsible for the development, production and launch of new podcasts for the company’s comedy-focused Earwolf network and Stitcher label.Music Business Worldwide