Luminary Media, a new entrant in the burgeoning podcast market, has announced its launch slate of 40-plus creators, including Hollywood names like Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco.
Once the company officially launches (sometime in the first half of 2019, it says), its streaming app will be available as an $8-a-month, ad-free subscription version and free version with ads. Some of its shows will be existing podcasts moving over to Luminary as their new exclusive home, and others will be Luminary originals.
Podcasting, of course, has its own roster of A-list talent best-known to people who wear earbuds a good portion of the day. Three such figures are making their next shows for Luminary: Guy Raz, known for How I Built This and the TED Radio Hour; Leon Neyfakh, the creator and host of Slow Burn; and Adam Davidson, the creator of Planet Money.
While it is not yet a billion-dollar business, podcasting pulled in $514 million in revenue in 2018, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Spotify has recently moved aggressively into the sector, buying Gimlet Media for $230 million.
Other podcasts on Luminary at launch will come from the likes of Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg’s Pushkin Industries and Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney. Anthem: Homunculus, John Cameron Mitchell’s followup to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, features 31 original songs performed by 40 actors, including 6 Tony winners such as Patti LuPone.
“What sets Luminary apart is our podcasts—we are launching more than 40 shows and over 1,000 hours of ad-free exclusive podcasts on our premium service featuring some of the most recognizable voices in podcasting and entertainment,” Luminary CEO Matt Sacks said.
Offerings will range across news, politics, and long-form journalism to comedy, true crime, sports, pop culture, and scripted fiction.
Existing podcasts moving exclusively to Luminary include Russell Brand’s Under the Skin, Michael Rapaport’s IAMRAPAPORT: STEREO PODCAST, and Hannival Buress’ Handsome Rambler.