It’s Noah joke: Here comes the Netflix of podcasting
Luminary has produced exclusive content from the big stars on the podcast scene, streaming it ad-free too
A US startup with an estimated $100m of funding wants to become what its CEO Matt Sacks calls the “the Netflix of podcasts”. Sacks told the New York Times his company, Luminary, aims to be a one-stop shop for podcast lovers. It will offer a subscription-based platform for unique content created by some of the biggest names in entertainment.
The platform, slated to launch in June at a cost of $8 a month, has announced over 40 shows created by names such as Lena Dunham, Conan O’Brien, Malcolm Gladwell, Trevor Noah, Russell Brand and John Cameron Mitchell.
The service will be ad-free. Luminary is throwing millions at content creators to enable them to make shows that won’t rely on advertising for their survival. Most podcasts rely on advertising for their costs – it is estimated that podcasts will pull in $514m from advertising this year, rising to $659m in 2020. While Luminary will offer a free area for fans to access any of the 600,000 ad-sponsored podcasts currently produced, its focus is firmly on producing its exclusive subscriber content.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell is producing an exclusive sequel to his smash hit Broadway musical. Anthem: Homunculus will feature the voice of Patti Lupone – demonstrating the company’s strategy to jump to the top of a hotly contested market. Apple has redesigned its podcast app after many years of neglect; Google has released a podcast player; and Spotify recently spent a reported $230m on acquiring Gimlet Media, the producers of successful dramas such as Homecoming and Crimetown.
Sacks told the NYT that what sets his company apart “is our exclusive content right off the bat. Nobody comes close.” It remains to be seen whether that will be enough for hungry podcast listeners, but it certainly seems like an intriguing idea that will produce some interesting new material.