Sony Music, Lorne Michaels' Above Average Strike Digital Development Deal (Exclusive)
The companies previously collaborated on Jack Antonoff tour docuseries 'Thank You and Sorry.'
Sony Music Entertainment, in an effort to build out its digital video business, has struck a multi-project development deal with Above Average, the digital arm of Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video.
The seeds of the partnership took root with Jack Antonoff docuseries Thank You and Sorry, which chronicled the RCA artists' life while on tour with the band Bleachers through a series of concert footage, interviews and scripted comedic segments. It was released last June on Google Play. Now Sony Music will work with Above Average to develop comedic series around its artists, who include Adele, John Mayer and Alicia Keys.
The companies aren't disclosing many details about the projects they will collaborate on together, but they will develop both short-form and long-form projects that could be distributed digitally or via linear platforms.
Sony has made digital video a focus following its work on Thank You and Sorry, announcing last September that it had hired Samsung North America's Lee Stimmel to oversee the development of music-related programming as head of original content.
"We're excited to be working with the incredible team at Above Average to create a new slate of programming with Sony Music artists," said Stimmel. "Our work together on Thank You and Sorry demonstrates the range of possibilities artists have to broaden their connection with their fans in fresh and unexpected ways."
Above Average evolved out of Broadway Video as a platform for emerging comedians. Among its popular web franchises are 7 Minutes in Heaven with former Saturday Night Live writer Mike O'Brien and Alec Baldwin's Love Ride. SNL's Vanessa Bayer also hosts a music-themed interview series called Sound Advice.
"From our work on our webseries Sound Advice to our collaboration with Sony Music on Thank You and Sorry, we've long wanted to expand the amount of content we develop involving musical artists," said Above Average president Jennifer Danielson. "With this deal with Sony Music and their phenomenal roster of artists, we're excited to create the new leading intersection of music and comedy."