Podcasting has been a hot topic for the entertainment world, and as the audio format grows in popularity, more and more businesses and investors have sprung up to take advantage of the latest trend. The newest company to try and assert itself into the niche is Luminary Media. The company just raised a $40 million funding round to build out a subscription audio service it plans to launch in 2019. The VC-backed concept is billing itself, as so many others have, as the “Netflix of podcasting.”
Luminary has reached out to content creators such as PRX, Wondery, HowStuffWorks, and Cadence13. Under its current business plan, content creators would receive up-front revenue in exchange for rights to distribute their shows.
“Luminary intends to be a better Podcommunity for all,” Matt Sacks, the principal at New Enterprise Associates leading the venture, told The Wall Street Journal. “We want to be a better answer for creators and a better experience for listeners. We are podcast fans who love podcasts like the creators and listeners do, and our mission is to cultivate, amplify and elevate this special community.”
Luminary would not be the first to offer subscription access to audio; PodcastOne, Acast, and Stitcher are established podcast hosts and networks with a paid tier. It’s still too early to call whether Luminary would be able to offer something unique to listeners that will allow it to compete with those existing brands.