The podcast studio startup Audio Up Media, the creation of audio creative agency Jingle Punks CEO Jared Gutstadt, has entered into a two-year joint venture agreement with LiveXLive Media that will see the two companies work together to create new podcasts and other projects that aim to leverage both companies forays into creating content tied to music.
The deal includes LiveXLive's exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for existing Audio Up podcasts, as well as co-ownership of planned new podcast shows. The new shows will feature a variety of different major recording artists as well as original music and will sit inside LiveXLive’s PodcastOne division. Both LiveXLive and Audio Up will be co-funding the joint venture and all revenue generated as part of the deal will be evenly split. In addition to podcast distribution, LiveXLive will have a second window opportunity to develop these podcasts into film and television properties, and artist album releases.
As part of the deal, LiveXLive Music Publishing will be collaborating with Audio Up on the development and distribution on all forthcoming projects, and it will co-own all new music that is created within the slate of new podcasts and shows. The companies say they plan to feature independent and major recording artists, saying the podcasts will create “a virtual playground” for the artists and music producers they collaborate with.
"We are incredibly excited to partner with Jared and his talented team of writers and producers to develop these new properties for PodcastOne,” said David Schulhof, President of LiveXLive Music Publishing. “I have known and worked with Jared for many years and this joint venture will bring a new fresh slate of podcasts and cutting-edge music to both companies.”
The alliance caps a year in which Audio Up brought on investors such as MGM Studios, made several top-level hires, and grew its podcast portfolio to 22 series with more than a dozen in the works. The company already has a first-look arrangement on potential film and television adaptations with MGM.
"The long-term value of the underlying story IP and ancillary music rights is a long term bet we are placing across the media space. We are happy that LiveXLive shares our vision that one of these will become the next Empire or A Star is Born," said Gutstadt in a statement.
Audio Up Media has brought to life several podcasts in 2020, including Halloween in Hell, a fantasy musical comedy featuring Machine Gun Kelly, the true-crime podcast Where The Bodies Are Buried, the sci-fi musical Sonic Leap with Lava for Good, and the Warner Music-funded comedy musical Uncle Drank: The Totally Hammered Podcast.
"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with LiveXLive and PodcastOne. Tapping into their endless music and podcast capabilities, they are able to offer a new listenership and livestreaming audience to Audio Up's properties,” said Gutstadt. “Our goal is to create events where music from the podcast musicals are performed as one-off events brought to you by our array of sponsors."
Gutstadt is a multi-hyphenate producer, songwriter, inventor, and live events director known for his patented technology called the Jingle Player that transformed the TV marketplace via his company Jingle Punks. After building a $120 million publishing venture, Gutstadt exited the company in 2019. In addition to his work at Audio Up, Gutstadt was recently named Chief Collaboration Officer at the Tisch School of the Arts of NYU's Clive David School.
"Jared is a rock star and Audio Up is a fast mover,” said PodcastOne founder and chairman Norm Pattiz.