Penguin Random House UK and DK have joined with Bertelsmann stablemates Fremantle and BMG to launch a joint podcast business, called Storyglass, as part of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance UK.
The alliance was formed in November 2019 with the aim of "supercharging creative collaboration and future opportunities" across the four content businesses in the UK, following a similar initiative across the Bertelsmann Group in Germany.
Storyglass will be the first major output of the UK initiative. It will operate as a standalone Bertelsmann company and will focus on developing and producing podcasts of all genres, complementing the output of each of the businesses across TV, media, books and music.
Storyglass was previously a division of Fremantle’s Global Drama department and focused on delivering scripted series. The new business will now produce podcast projects across scripted, non-scripted, documentary, true crime, lifestyle, music and talent-led series for all major podcast distribution platforms.
The goal is both "to grow Storyglass as a leading player in the UK podcast market" and "to establish Storyglass as a global leader in podcasting production".
Tom Weldon, c.e.o. of Penguin Random House UK, said: "The establishment of this alliance gives us the opportunity to build on all the brilliant work we’ve done in audio over the past few years: from our award-winning audiobook publishing to a number of hugely popular and distinctive podcasts, including 'The Penguin Podcast' and 'This Is Spoke'. By joining together with – and drawing on the expertise and talent of – our fellow Bertelsmann companies, we’re looking forward to taking our ambitions around podcasts to the next level, to the benefit of our authors and our publishing."
Carsten Coesfeld, c.e.o. of DK, said: "At DK, we are proud to join forces with our fellow Bertelsmann companies for this exciting new alliance. This valuable collaboration opportunity will enable us to reach an even broader audience and push the boundaries of our content creation."
PRH has collaborated with Fremantle and BMG before on the youth culture series "This Is Spoke", which brought together UK influencers across the music, literature, media, digital and cultural industries and won the 2020 Campaign Publishing Awards Best Podcast accolade.
Bertelsmann is currently recruiting for a commercial director to run Storyglass and lead its strategy and operations. A creative director will also be appointed to develop the creative and talent strategy and manage all podcast production.
Gail Rebuck, chair of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance UK, said: "Creativity defines each of these businesses and I am excited to see what this collaboration can produce. Audio has always proved a really powerful tool to connect audiences with great stories, and we are confident that this alliance and the new-look Storyglass will mean we are set up to deliver world-class series."
Bertelsmann formally completed the full acquisition of Penguin Random House (PRH) in April and says it invests more than €5bn a year in creative content worldwide.