Update [May 21, 2019]: So, as it turns out, this venture isn’t going to be music or music-podcast specific. More details on my broader piece, “Joint Adventures.”
Oh yeah? Here’s Variety, with the ~exclusive~:
The joint venture — which doesn’t have an official name at this point — will create and distribute original scripted and unscripted podcast programming across multiple genres and topics. Davidson and Mayer will lead the company and focus on developing talent and storytelling. Sony Music will provide resources for content creation and monetization, including marketing, sales and distribution, business development, audio production, and data and analytics…
… Sony Music owns 50% of the venture and is investing an undisclosed sum. Davidson and Mayer each hold a 25% stake.
I see some folks calling this the first major example of a major music company getting involved with podcasting, which isn’t strictly true, given the whole Spotify of it all. But I do think it’s the first major music label to do so — though, again, not the first music label proper, given Merge Records’ affiliation with I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats — and what they’ll likely be leveraging is the wealth of talent connections and music rights they have in storage to produce sweet, sweet podcast IP around.
Anyway, the way I see it, there are two major storylines attached to this: (1) it’s yet another example of a producer expressing strong autonomy separate and apart from a traditional network model, and (2) it’s yet another move to activate the whole “music is totally an untapped podcast genre” tack that’s popular among some parts of the podcast community.
One other thing to note from the Variety write-up: the new Sony-Davidson-Mayer venture will be separate from the stuff that Davidson and Mayer are doing with The Passion Economy, the Davidson-hosted show currently operating behind the Luminary paywall. Also, they will be hiring for producers to work on the new venture soon.