Mosaic Media, the Los Angeles-based management and production company, has launched a new podcast production company in a deal with premium podcast platform Luminary Media. The joint venture is named Ninth Planet Audio and it’s the latest example of how Hollywood is taking a growing interest in podcasting. “Ninth Planet’s partnership with Luminary opened the door for Mosaic Media to further expand our portfolio and digital platform,” said Mosaic’s principal Jimmy Miller.
Luminary launched in April, armed with a reported $100 million in funding and a portfolio of about four dozen subscription-only podcasts. The joint venture to create Ninth Planet Audio with Mosaic Media will help funnel additional original content into the platform.
“Ninth Planet is creating compelling original podcasts that have our listeners coming back for more,” says a spokesperson from Luminary. “Their shows take the audience on deep investigative journeys with fascinating and addictive story-telling.”
The two companies had already been working together on the 13-episode docuseries Telephone Stories: The Trials of Michael Jackson that was released in May. Later this year they’ll launch their second podcast on Luminary. Entitled Villains, the series will chronicle the U.K.’s famed 1963 Great Train Robbery. The show is currently in production with executive producersWill Green and Aaron Ginsburg at The Cut, and Ben Adair at Western Sound.
“Luminary has been a phenomenal partner and Telephone Stories sets the bar high in production quality and in-depth reporting,” Miller said in a statement. “We are looking forward to reaching new listeners, both in the US and abroad, with the launch of Villains as we continue to provide groundbreaking series for Luminary’s devoted audience.” The company is already involved in the podcast space with other producers. Among the actors Mosaic reps is Will Ferrell who hosts the Ron Burgundy Podcast for the iHeartPodcast Network.
Even as Villains goes up on the calendar, Luminary says Telephone Stories will return from a four-week hiatus with new shows being published beginning July 28. Hosted by Brandon Ogborn and Omar Crook, the 14-hour, 13-part investigative docuseries took more than two years to create. The producers say it’s the most intensive look at Michael Jackson’s 1993 accusations and criminal investigation of sexual abuse and his separate, media-circus criminal trial in 2005 to date.
“Our aim in this was to tell the whole story, exploring it from many different perspectives, and that required us to do so on a large scale where we could take our time with it,” said Ogborn, who is also a comedian and screenwriter turned investigative journalist. “The beauty of doing it as a podcast is it allows space for the people who were part of these firestorms to share their points of view on the events unfolding. You don’t just get quick sound bites. It kind of begins to exist in your mind as something more than tabloid gossip, something closer to Greek Tragedy.”