In the second of two major podcasting announcements Wednesday from iHeartMedia, the audio giant has struck a three-year partnership with ViacomCBS. The deal calls for the iHeartPodcast Network to mine hit series and intellectual property from MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT and other brands from the media company’s Entertainment & Youth Group to create dozens of original podcasts.
Announced to coincide with the Sept. 9-11 virtual IAB Podcast Upfronts, the ambitious initiative looks to churn out a diverse array of shows that cater to every demo from the coasts to the heartland, across genres including music, comedy, pop culture and history.
Keyes Hill-Edgar, Chief Operating Officer, Entertainment & Youth Group, ViacomCBS said his company is eager to partner with iHeartMedia to expand its hit shows into hit franchises. “iHeart’s wide distribution and availability across a number of leading platforms align well with our global reach and audiences,” he said in a press release.
As part of the initial slate of programs, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will expand its library of content by producing additional, original podcasts from the show’s correspondents. An audio reboot of MTV’s “Yo! MTV Raps” – the classic cable TV program that launched in 1987 and introduced hip-hop to a general audience – will be the cornerstone for a new podcast series.
They join two existing podcasts from Comedy Central. “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ears Edition” launched in 2018, featuring episode highlights and extended interviews that ViacomCBS says has delivered more than 170 million downloads to date. “The Daily Show: Podcast Universe” bowed last year with an original, five-episode mini-series that pokes fun at the medium – each episode parodies a popular podcast or podcast genre.
Other ViacomCBS brands that will help fuel new podcasts include Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, TV Land and Logo.
Viacom and iHeart have been developing the concepts since early 2020 and plan to announce more details in the future, according to a story in Barron’s.
Calling the Viacom shows “some of the most iconic brands in the world,” Conal Byrne, President, the iHeartPodcast Network, said iHeartMedia will bring all its resources to bear to adapt them to the exploding podcast medium. “We will swing all of our resources behind these incredible brands – with support from our production teams, our huge distribution and marketing muscle, and the biggest and best audio sales team in the country – to make sure they get the audience they deserve in this incredible new medium,” he said.
The shows won’t be exclusive to the iHeartPodcast Network. In addition to the iHeartRadio app, they will also be available wherever fans find their favorite podcasts.