Sony Music Entertainment has made a strategic investment in podcast production company Neon Hum to expand its development of original non-music programming.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will see Neon Hum — the company behind Rachel Maddow's Bag Man, The Thing About Pam and Crooked Media's This Land — develop a slate of new original podcasts in collaboration with Sony Music that will debut in 2020.
Neon Hum was founded by producer/reporter/sound designer Jonathan Hirsch in 2018. Since then, it has teamed with partners to produce several projects, including the investigative series Room 20 from L.A. Times Studios, The Bellas Podcast with Endeavor Audio, The Ringer's Halloween Unmasked and Wondery's Dr. Death. Other partners include Spotify and Stitcher. Now, with the strategic investment from Sony, Neon Hum will expand the number of shows it produces.
"We are excited to be working closely with the team at Sony Music to develop unique, sound-rich podcasts, and tell unforgettable stories," Hirsch said Thursday in a statement. "We have a shared vision of creating premium shows for a diverse audience, including people who already love podcasts, and the millions who are still to come. We couldn’t ask for better partners as we continue to grow."
The joint venture with Neon Hum comes on the heels of Sony deals with Broccoli Content, producer Renay Richardson and developers Laura Mayer and Adam Davidson. The company is also working with The Onion on a daily satirical podcast. Said Tom Mackay, president of premium content A&R for Sony Music, "Jonathan Hirsch and the team at Neon Hum have a track record of creating podcasts that have consistently topped the charts. We are excited to work with them to create captivating new storytelling for listening audiences everywhere."
Hirsch will lead the joint venture between Neon Hum and Sony and will manage all creative aspects of the partnership, including the writing, producing and recording of the shows. Sony, meanwhile, will offer content creation, marketing and monetization resources.