David Landau and Spencer Brown, former co-CEOs of Dial Global/Westwood One, have partnered with venture capitalist Michael Rolnick to create DGital Media, an on-demand audio (i.e. podcast) network. Partnering with the new entity at launch is Re/code, which will develop original podcasts, audio archives of conferences, and other audio programming. (In a separate development, Re/code was acquired by Vox Media yesterday.)
Re/code is a technology news site spun out of the Wall Street Journal by its chief editors, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.
The first program slated for release in this arrangement will be called Re/code Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher and released in June — a one-hour program of interviews and tech news. Chief Content Officer of DGital Media Chris Corcoran told RAIN News that Re/code’s Code conference sessions will be archived for on-demand listening. A daily audio newsletter is planned, and Walt Mossberg (who was WSJ’s original technology columnist whose work led to the creation of Re/code) is expected to appear in audio as well.
Lia Lorenzano Kennett, COO of Re/code parent company Revere Digital, sees this opportunity as a way to reach audiences by whatever medium they choose. “With the proliferation of mobile devices and the popularity of podcasts, we want to make sure our content is available to our audiences wherever they are – in the car, in the office, etc. By partnering with DG Media, Re/code will be able to leverage our authoritative content and brand with outstanding audio programming, distribution and monetization.”
DGital Media will eventually build out beyond Re/code’s participation as the inaugural brand. “Re/code is our exclusive launch partner,” Corcoran told us. “Others are in the pipeline, whether they be big brand publishers or talent, or really anyone in the audio space. We’re looking to become an audio influencer and an audio engagement company.”
Is podcasting a threat or opportunity to radio? Chris Corcoran sees the latter. “I think it’s an opportunity. Obviously iot’s a hot space right now. It’s a great time for us to be in the space, and we’re experts in our own way in sales, content, and programming. It’s a great time for audio to be creative and take it to the next level.”
David Landau agreed: “People are dire about what’s going on in radio, but we don’t see this as a sunset situation. We’re excited about the dollars being spent in audio in radio, podcasting, Sirius XM, public radio, Pandora, Spotify — we think about $16-billion is flowing through the space. We’re excited about the opportunity.”