Sixteen months after Sony Music Entertainment struck an alliance with the U.K. audio producer Somethin’ Else, the company founded by radio veteran Jez Nelson in 2005 has agreed to be bought outright. The move will give Sony new podcast leadership and an even bigger reach in the global marketplace, especially in the U.K. where Somethin’ Else is a producer of not only podcasts and audio projects, but also television and social media content.
Nelson, Somethin’ Else’s Executive Chairman and CEO, and Steve Ackerman, its Chief Content Officer, will jointly spearhead Sony’s global podcast content and business development strategy. Ackerman will become Executive Vice President, Co-Head Global Podcasts, overseeing operations in New York and Nelson will run the division’s U.K.-based podcast operations as Executive Vice President, Co-Head Global Podcasts. Both will report directly to Sony President of Global Digital Business Dennis Kooker and President of Content A&R Tom Mackay.
“Expanding our relationship with Somethin’ Else brings their best-in-class capabilities and production expertise fully into the Sony Music family,” said Kooker in the announcement. “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.”
Terms of the deal were not released.
“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,” said Nelson and Ackerman in a joint statement. “Somethin’ Else is known as the leading premium podcasting production company in the U.K. and our ambition is to harness that drive and creativity to make Sony Music a global market leader.”
Sony Music Entertainment has been working with Somethin’ Else since January 2020 when it announced a joint venture to develop a slate of podcasts and pursue a range of new international podcasting opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Since joining forces they have collaborated on several series including David Tennant Does A Podcast With, Power: the Maxwells, The Fault Line: Bush, Blair & Iraq, and Cheat!.
With the acquisition, Sony said it will leverage Somethin’ Else’s vast production experience and relationships in audio entertainment to continue developing new podcasts across a range of genres, form new partnerships with talented creators, and push the entire global podcast industry forward.
“Having collaborated with Somethin’ Else on a number of hit podcasts, we know how impactful their work has been on shaping the marketplace,” said Mackay. “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.”
Specializing in audio, entertainment, music and arts content, Somethin’ Else is the UK’s largest independent podcast and audio producer and the BBC’s biggest independent producer of programming, covering a variety of music genres and spoken word content for the broadcaster.
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,” said Nelson and Ackerman in their statement, adding, “That global expertise, artist first culture, and ability to cut through the noise has huge appeal to podcasting talent and we look forward to harnessing that in this new chapter of our business.”
Under the new arrangement, Somethin’ Else’s television and social media business will become an extension of Sony UK’s 4th Floor Creative division, enhancing its ability to create new creative and commercial opportunities for artists, labels and partners.
Sony has also teamed with veteran podcast producer Renay Richardson to form a London-based unit called Broccoli Content.