Sony Music Invests in Podcast Production Firm Neon Hum

In its latest move into the podcast biz, Sony Music Entertainment announced a strategic investment in podcast production house Neon Hum.

Founded by podcast producer Jonathan Hirsch (pictured above), L.A.-based Neon Hum has helped create multiple podcast hits including MSNBC’s “Bag Man” with Rachel Maddow, Dateline NBC’s “The Thing About Pam,” Wondery’s “Room 20,” Crooked Media’s “This Land” and L.A. Times Studios’ “Larger Than Life.” Neon Hum also served as a production partner on Wondery’s true-crime podcast “Dr. Death,” which has been downloaded more than 50 million times and is being adapted for NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

The amount of Sony Music’s investment in Neon Hum was not disclosed. The deal comes after similar pacts with Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer to form Brooklyn-based Three Uncanny Four Productions; U.K. podcast producer Renay Richardson for Broccoli Content; and The Onion.

Under the agreement with Sony Music, Neon Hum will expand the overall number of shows it produces and develop a range of new original podcast concepts, beginning with a slate of new shows across multiple genres in 2020. To date, Neon Hum has produced shows for clients including Crooked Media, Stitcher, NBC, The Ringer, Spotify, Wondery, Endeavor Audio, and the L.A. Times.

Hirsch will lead the joint venture and Neon Hum will manage all creative aspects of the relationship, including podcast writing, production and recording. Sony Music will provide expertise in content creation, marketing and monetization to help enhance the scale and scope of Neon Hum’s work.

Hirsch’s work has received numerous awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award and duPont Columbia Award. His documentary podcast series “Dear Franklin Jones” launched at No. 1 on Apple Podcasts. Prior to founding Neon Hum in April 2018, he developed, produced and launched several podcasts at Stitcher, which is owned by E.W. Scripps Co.

“Neon Hum is a passionate company of serious audio-first creators,” said Hirsch. “We are excited to be working closely with the team at Sony Music to develop unique, sound-rich podcasts, and tell unforgettable stories. 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.”

Tom Mackay, Sony Music’s president of premium content A&R, commented, “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.”

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