Luminary To Launch Subscription Model Platform For Podcasts

Would you pay money to hear your favorite podcast, which you are probably now hearing for free?

One startup, Luminary,  hopes you won’t mind shelling out $8 a month to hear those podcasts.

The service, which is slated to launch in June this year, will be launching 40 exclusive podcasts on its soon to launch platform.  Its bringing in plenty of star power, with celebrities, commentators and others hosting podcasts with the service. Some will be exclusive to Luminary, others will also be accessible with other podcast sites.

Exclusive podcasts debuting on Luminary include Lena Dunham’s The C Word, Lets Talk This Out with Trevor Noah and Team Coco, hosted by TBS talk host Conan O’Brien. Established podcasts becoming exclusive to Luminary include I AM RAPPAPORT: STEREO PODCAST hosted by actor/director Michael Rapaport, Handsome Rambler with comic Hannibal Buress, and Under The Skin with actor Russell Brand. Other podcasts coming from Luminary feature Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Davidson.

Despite the stars and content, challenges await Luminary. Advertising pays for most podcasts online today, with potentially $514 million in ad sales this year alone, and next year, $659 million, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC. However, subscriptions have become increasingly popular among content companies. Luminary faces established competition from Spotify, iHeart Radio, Apple’s iTunes and Google, among others. Then there’s resistance from consumers already paying for Netflix, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and numerous over-the-top TV and music services and unwilling to pay for another subscription entertainment service.

The New York Times reported Luminary received $100 million in funding. Crunchbase reports New Enterprise Associates provided all of that money, in the form of 2 venture round contributions, $40 million (in May 2018) and $60 million (March 4th 2019).

Luminary CEO Matt Saks told NYT that he’s not worried about his new startup competing with the likes of Spotify and others.

“Just like in the premium television space, there is more than enough room for multiple offerings, to thrive, Saks told the NYT. “What sets Luminary apart is our exclusive content right off the bat. Nobody comes close.”

Image credit:  Csaba Nagy


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