Podcasting grows to newer heights with heavy-hitting deals

Podcasts have become so popular that The New York Times included them in its roundup of 33 Ways to Remember the 2010s, noting that in the last decade, “podcasts stopped being a way to listen and became a way of life.” The evolution of podcasts from niche entertainment supplement to heavy-hitting media entities in their own right has prompted major brands to ink ever more impressive deals to capture content-hungry listeners.


Marvel Entertainment has inked a multiyear deal with SiriusXM to launch weekly podcasts featuring characters from the recently-revived and highly-popular MCU beginning in 2020. Listeners will get to know characters like Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Star-Lord via their own standalone 10-episode series, enjoy an Avengers-style series about a team of characters, and explore Marvel’s history through a modern lens, among other content. For fans, this podcast deal opens yet another immersive portal into the Marvel world—a necessity for success in today’s entertainment industry.


The Obamas’ production company Higher Ground has announced an exclusive, multiyear podcast partnership with Spotify. Not only have the Obamas signed on to develop and produce podcasts spanning a variety of topics for the streaming giant, but they will be “lending their voices” to some of the projects as well. The overall goal of this deal is to give a voice to people who are often overlooked or ignored—an angle that plays to Gen Zs’ increased empathy, which spurs their desire for social justice.


No, this is not a joke: satirical news outlet The Onion will be producing podcasts with Sony Music Entertainment to offer fans of the brand’s on-the-nose cultural satire yet another medium to digest its content. The Onion’s debut project under this offering is a daily podcast called The Topical, a series that appears to spoof The New York Times’ popular podcast The Daily (which is dedicated to discussing current news events in a highly-engaging format). The Topical will debut in January 2020.