Storyglass will operate as a standalone Bertelsmann company and will focus on developing and producing podcasts of all genres, complementing the output of each of the businesses across TV, media, books and music. Penguin Random House and DK are literary publishers, Fremantle is a television content creator, while BMG is a music company.
Storyglass is the first major output of the four companies’ Content Alliance initiative that was launched last year. In an earlier iteration, Storyglass was a division of Fremantle’s global drama department, delivering scripted series.
Fremantle, BMG and Penguin Random House earlier teamed for youth culture series “This Is Spoke,” (pictured) that won best podcast at the 2020 Campaign publishing awards, and a Webby honoree in the diversity and inclusion category.
Bertelsmann is recruiting for a commercial director for Storyglass, and plans to hire a creative director as well.
Gail Rebuck, chair of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance U.K., said: “Creativity defines each of these businesses and I am excited to see what this collaboration can produce. Audio has always proved a really powerful tool to connect audiences with great stories, and we are confident that this alliance and the new-look Storyglass will mean we are set up to deliver world-class series.”
Andrea Scrosati, group COO, Fremantle, Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House U.K., Alistair Norbury, president, marketing and repertoire, BMG U.K., and Carsten Coesfeld, CEO, DK, who represent the board of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in the U.K., added: “Podcasting is a fantastic space to test new IP and discover talent. Individually, we have all had success in this space, but by bringing our expertise together we are confident in our ambitions to establish Storyglass as a global leader in podcasting production.”
Bertelsmann invests more than $5.6 billion a year in creative content worldwide.
A German Bertelsmann Content Alliance, which exists between Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, RTL Radio Deutschland, the TV production company UFA, Verlagsgruppe Random House, Gruner + Jahr, and BMG, was launched last year.