Sony Music Acquires ‘Boutique Podcast Production Company’ Neon Hum Following 2019 Strategic Investment

neon hum sony music sale
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neon hum sony music sale
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Sony Music Entertainment has acquired podcast production business Neon Hum after making a strategic investment in the company in late 2019. Photo Credit: Kate Oseen

Over four years after closing a strategic investment in Neon Hum Media, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has officially acquired the LA-based “boutique podcast production company.”

SME just recently disclosed the Neon Hum buyout and its plans for the business. Established in 2018 by ARRVLS host Jonathan Hirsch, Neon Hum has created original programs including Smoke Screen, Dinner’s On Me, and Dirt Cheap, the appropriate website shows.

Predictably, the involved parties opted against publicly identifying their transaction’s financial specifics. But Sony Music intends to capitalize on the deal “to develop award-winning premium podcasts for its subscription channel The Binge and across its always-on entertainment slate.”

Building on the point, Hirsch has come aboard SME as VP of global podcasts and head of U.S. creative. In the role, he’ll “spearhead the U.S. creative business” and report directly to EVP and global podcasts head Steve Ackerman, Sony Music relayed.

Also on the horizon for Neon Hum is a buildout on the work-for-hire side, with SME aiming “to provide more services beyond audio production for its client and branded podcasts.”

Addressing the purchase in a brief statement, Ackerman reiterated his employer’s broader podcasting ambitions.

“We have worked closely with Jonathan and the team at Neon Hum for several years now and value his creative and strategic vision to produce premium shows across our successful true crime and always on slates,” communicated Ackerman. “This move allows us to maximize Neon Hum’s creative and production input as we further grow our roster of original and client shows.”

And in concise comments of his own, Hirsch underscored plans to continue producing “premium audio content” as part of SME.

“Neon Hum and Sony Music have always been aligned in our audio-first mentality and approach,” he indicated. “I’m excited for the next steps as the Neon Hum team becomes a full part of Sony Music Podcasts and we continue to produce premium audio content.”

While prominent players like Spotify have long dominated headlines for their podcasting endeavors, Sony Music has for some time been investing in the space. To be sure, Ackerman only joined the company after selling his London-based Somethin’ Else podcasting operation to the major label in 2021.

Before that, he’d spent over two decades in executive roles at Somethin’ Else, which has created a number of non-music original podcasts as well.