Sony Music Entertainment has acquired Somethin’ Else, which touts itself as the U.K.’s largest independent podcast and audio producer, and one of the BBC’s biggest independent producers of programs.
Terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
With the deal, Sony Music is creating a newly expanded global podcast division, headed by Somethin’ Else’s two top execs: Steve Ackerman (above left), chief content officer and vice chairman; and Jez Nelson (above right), founder, executive chairman and CEO.
Ackerman and Nelson are both being named executive VPs, co-heads of global podcasts at Sony Music, jointly spearheading SME’s global podcast content and business development strategy. Ackerman will oversee operations in New York, and Nelson will run the division’s U.K.-based podcast operations. Both will report directly to Dennis Kooker, Sony Music Entertainment president for global digital business and U.S. sales, and Tom Mackay, president of premium content A&R.
Over the past two years, Sony Music has established a slate of several dozen podcasts and has invested in podcast ventures including Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer’s Three Uncanny Four and Neon Hum.
Since January 2020, SME and Somethin’ Else have collaborated on podcasts including “David Tennant Does A Podcast With…,” “Power: The Maxwells,” “The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq” and “Cheat!” With the acquisition, Sony Music plans to use Somethin’ Else’s production experience and relationships in audio entertainment to develop new podcasts across a range of genres, as well as form new partnerships with creators.
“Expanding our relationship with Somethin’ Else brings their best-in-class capabilities and production expertise fully into the Sony Music family,” Kooker said in a statement. “Our new global podcast division is key to our plans for a fast-paced expansion in the market, diversifying our creative abilities and providing a home for exciting content that will benefit millions of podcast lovers around the world.”
Mackay added, “Under Steve and Jez’s leadership, we can now provide a range of expanded collaboration opportunities for the podcast community globally and focus on growing a robust slate of new in-house projects.”
Under Sony Music’s ownership, the Somethin’ Else TV and social media business — which has produced content for clients including the BBC, Sky, the BRIT Awards, the Economist and Red Bull — will become an extension of SME U.K.’s 4th Floor Creative in-house creative and strategy division.
In a joint statement, Ackerman and Nelson said, “We’re delighted to be joining Sony Music at what feels like a critical moment in the growth and acceleration of the global podcast industry… Sony Music is renowned for always putting the artists first in everything they do, and we’ve seen that culture fully embedded in their podcast offering, too.”
Pictured above: Steve Ackerman (left), Jez Nelson