Luminary Media wants to find out just how much people will pay for podcasts. The company has rounded up more than 40 big-name creators with the intention of launching a subscription-based podcast network. The service -- which is set to launch in June, according to the New York Times -- will offer a Hulu-style model. Listeners will be able to stream nonexclusive content for free or pay $8 per month for an ad-free experience with access to shows only available through Luminary.
Luminary has managed to lock down a cast of noteworthy creators for its endeavor. Celebrities like Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah and Conan O'Brien are all on board. The company has also grabbed top podcasters like Guy Raz of How I Built This and the TED Radio Hour, Planet Money creator Adam Davidson, and Guys We F****d hosts Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. Some will be creating new shows and others will be moving their existing podcasts to Luminary. The company has locked up Russell Brand's Under the Skin, Michael Rapaport's IAMRAPAPORT, and Hannibal Buress' Handsome Rambler podcasts as exclusives on its network.
Luminary's entrance into the podcasting business comes at an interesting time, as other media companies are starting to take interest in the format. Spotify recently purchased podcast network Gimlet Media and plans to expand its podcast offerings and acquired podcast publishing platform Anchor. It seems likely that going forward, podcasts will be going the way of video with lots of exclusives locked to specific services.