Variety recently ran an exclusive report that Sony Music Entertainment is forming a joint venture with two experienced podcast hands – “Adam Davidson, a New Yorker staff writer and co-founder of NPR’s ‘Planet Money’ show, and Laura Mayer, who has worked at Stitcher, Panoply Media, and WNYC.”
In his statement, Rob Stringer, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, said that, “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.”
According to the deal, Sony will have 50% of ownership, while Davidson and Mayer will have 25% of the yet unnamed joint company. The duo will take care of the creative side of the project, while Sony will handle the business side. Mayer and Davidson do have a separate venture, Arrow Productions, that makes the Luminary podcast show The Passion Economy.
In his comment to niemanlab.com Davidson underlined that this will not be a music content company. The new venture is to focus on, as the site puts it, “programming across a variety of genres, topics, and production types, and thus will not strictly take the form of a music podcast-centric operation.” Still, Davidson adds, “I’m sure we’ll do some music shows, but that is not our focus.”
The whole project is coming through with a sense of urgency, as the potential competition in the field might heat up – Mayer and Davidson are already setting up the company’s offices in Brooklyn and plan to start hiring producers more or less immediately.