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SME’s New Subscription Channel Embraces Allure Of The Binge.


Looking to differentiate its subscription channel for the growing list in front of consumers, Sony Music Entertainment’s Global Podcast Division is embracing a media habit of the modern age: binging. SME is launching The Binge, a first of its kind subscription channel providing fans with binge-access to full seasons of new podcasts each month.


“We have been early believers in the power of subscription to drive the podcast industry forward,” said Emily Rasekh, Senior VP of Podcast Business Development and Operations. “And we see the demand and behavior of binge-listening across our network continuing to grow, similar to how it has across other forms of media.”


When The Binge launches June 6, listeners will be able to subscribe to the channel on Apple Podcasts to access full seasons of two new original series as well as the back catalog of SME shows. The new shows that are dropped on The Binge will not be exclusive to the channel, however. SME will continue to release them on an episode-by-episode basis across all listening apps.


“With The Binge, we are building our offering based on those listening habits and delivering an unprecedented, new destination for listeners all around the world to get what they want, when they want it,” said Rasekh.


SME says it has already had success in the subscription business. Three of its show-based channels -- Chameleon, Bad Blood: The Final Chapter and The Just Enough Family -- were on Apple’s Top 10 Subscription Channels list at the end of 2021. It notes The Just Enough Family series was earlier made available for binging to subscribers when it debuted.


SME also recently launched a new subscription channel for the U.K. podcast Kermode & Mayo’s Take. Since it debuted over two weeks ago, it has become the fastest-growing and biggest subscription ever on Apple Podcasts in the UK.


One of the first two new podcasts being released via The Binge channel is Witnessed: Friendly Fire. The Campside Media-produced true crime series is about the death of a Scott County, TN sheriff at the hands of his partner, examining whether it was a catastrophic mistake or an intentional killing. The podcast is hosted by journalist Sean Flynn.


The other new show to debut is called Fringe Network: Alien State. Produced by Somethin’ Else, the MJ Banias-hosted show is about UFOs. Once downplayed by the government, new evidence and uncovered documents prove that the U.S. government is, and always has been, very interested in the UFO phenomenon.


Then on June 16, the next show to debut on The Binge is called Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin. Produced by Neon Hum, the series shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing Americans the pets they love.


Each new show launch will offer subscribers the chance to listen to all episodes ad-free, all at once. In addition, the channel will also include exclusive, ad-free access to library content from some of SME’s biggest hit series including Chameleon, Death at the Wing, Firebug, The Doodler, The Just Enough Family, and Witnessed: Borderlands.

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