Sony Music buys UK podcast producer Somethin’ Else

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Itsuo Inouye/AP</span>
Photograph: Itsuo Inouye/AP

Sony Music has acquired the UK’s largest independent podcast producer, Somethin’ Else, which makes David Tennant’s interview series and The Sun King, David Dimbleby’s deep dive into the life of Rupert Murdoch

Home to artists from Beyoncé and AC/DC to Dolly Parton, Sony is using the acquisition to spearhead the launch of a new global podcast division.

“Our new global podcast division is key to our plans for a fast-paced expansion in the market, diversifying our creative abilities and providing a home for exciting content that will benefit millions of podcast lovers around the world,” said Dennis Kooker, the president of global digital business and US sales at Sony Music Entertainment, the Sony subsidiary that struck the deal.

Companies ranging from Spotify and Amazon to Apple have been snapping up now increasingly scarce prime podcast producers and platforms to cash in on a boom in audio listening and diversify away from a reliance on music streaming.

Somethin’ Else, which opened an office in New York in 2019, is the BBC’s biggest external partner, with titles including Unheard: The Fred & Rose West Tapes, a true crime show about the notorious serial killers; Power: The Maxwells, which looks at the life and suspicious death of the media tycoon Robert Maxwell; and Cheat!, which examines scandals in sectors such as high school testing, boxing, art, and even Donald Trump’s questionable golf tactics.

“We’re delighted to be joining Sony Music at what feels like a critical moment in the growth and acceleration of the global podcast industry,” said Jez Nelson and Steve Ackerman, Somethin’ Else’s chief executive and chief content officer respectively.

Spotify has spent almost $1bn diversifying beyond its core music offering into podcasting, acquiring companies in the sector and striking key talent deals with the likes of Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

This has not gone unnoticed by Apple, which in effect started the podcast trend 16 years ago but has ceded ground to Spotify. In April it announced the launch of Apple podcast subscriptions, offering users new content and ad-free listening, in 170 regions.

In December Amazon bought Wondery, the podcast network behind hits such as Dirty John and Doctor Death, to integrate with its Amazon Music service.

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