Sony Music continues to ramp up its podcast portfolio and that has led to several announcements about the team it is building inside the company to achieve that goal. The music company says the hires will spearhead it strategy of creating shows across a variety of genres in markets around the globe.
The new hires include radio veteran Emily Rasekh, who has been named Senior Vice President of Business Development and Operations of Podcasting for Sony Music. She’ll be responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day relationships with various podcasting partners and overseeing its podcast sales and marketing teams. Rasekh will also be tasked with expanding Sony Music’s strategic partnerships.
Prior to joining Sony, Rasekh was Vice President of Digital Partnerships at Entercom, overseeing digital content distribution strategy. Before that, she helped launch CBS Radio’s audio-on-demand business. She previously held business development roles for CBS from 2011-2016 and MTV Networks from 2009-2011.
Sony Music has also lured Brittany Hall from Pandora to become its Vice President of Sales for Podcasting. She’ll be responsible for overseeing the commercial strategy and monetization of podcasts from Sony Music and its partners. Previously Hall worked in sales at Pandora, and prior to that she worked in sales at Megaphone.
In another revenue-targeted hire, Sony Music has hired Ryan Zack as Vice President of Revenue Operations for Podcasting. He’ll oversee Sony Music’s ad operations strategy, pricing and inventory management. Zack joins from Megaphone where he led the day-to-day efforts for the sales planning, advertising operations and advertising solutions teams. He earlier held advertising operation roles at Acast, GoPro, and Spotify.
Sony Music has also hired Christy Mirabal as Vice President of Marketing for Podcasting. She’ll oversee all strategic marketing, including planning, development and execution of initiatives to drive branding and awareness of the company’s podcast projects. Before Sony Music, Christy led the brand team at Stitcher, overseeing partnerships and sponsorships. Mirabal previously oversaw podcast audience development for Panoply Media.
The hires were announced by Dennis Kooker, President of Sony Music Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales; and Tom Mackay, President of Sony Music Film and TV A&R. “Together this leadership team strongly positions us to super-serve the podcast community, help them reach larger audiences on more platforms and further grow our podcasting business opportunities around the world,” they wrote in a memo obtained by Podcast News Daily. “With a rapidly expanding number of creative partnerships and with the strength of our best-in-class capabilities, we are confident they will keep enhancing Sony Music’s compelling value proposition in the podcasting industry,” said Kooker and Mackay.
In May Sony teamed up with Davidson and Mayer on a U.S.-focused venture. The result is the Brooklyn, NY-based Three Uncanny Four Productions. Partners Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer each reportedly own 25% of the venture with Sony Music holding a 50% stake. Then in October it launched a similar alliance in the U.K. when it teamed with veteran podcast producer Renay Richardson to form a London-based unit calledBroccoli Content.
Sony Music isn’t the first record label to branch out into podcasting. Universal Music Group last month struck a development deal with podcast creator Wondery. The two companies will jointly develop and produce podcasts that draw on UMG’s music catalog as well as its roster of artists and labels. UMG notes it has been producing podcasts since 2012.