First air date
Wondery is an American podcast network launched by Hernan Lopez with backing from 20th Century Fox.
Wondery was launched in 2016 by Hernan Lopez, the exiting Fox International Channels CEO with backing from 20th Century Fox. The stated goal of the network is to curate and create audio shows with a focus on mobile users and audio-on-demand. The company teamed up with ART19 on distribution infrastructure and cross podcast dynamic insertion of ads. Lopez was joined by Jeffrey Glaser, previously head of current programming at 20th Century Fox Television, where he oversaw series including 24, American Dad!, Arrested Development, Bones, Empire, Family Guy, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and The X-Files. Glaser was appointed president of content.
With in three years, Wondery became a top five podcast publisher with 40 million downloads in December 2018 alone. There were six 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Award nominations for four of the publisher's show with one win: Dr. Death for Most Bingeable Podcast.
The company's series A funding round in March 2018 brought in $5 million from investors including Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital venture-capital firms. In June 2019, Wondery had a funding round of $10 million which indicates a value of over $100 million. This series B funding was lead by Waverley Capital. With the closing of the round, Former National Geographic Partners Chief Executive Declan Moore became Wondery's international programming head.
Universal Music Group agreed in April 2019 to allow Wondery a license to use UMG music catalog and develop UMG artists' story podcasts, which then may be adapted into TV or film projects. Wondery would work with all UMG labels and with its Polygram Entertainment film and TV production unit.
In early May 2019, Wondery and Cumulus Media announced a strategic alliance for new advertising opportunities and growing podcast listeners. The first item from the alliance is a Business Wars podcast franchise expansion, Sports Wars, would start airing on 40 Cumulus radio stations the first weekend in May and syndicated by Westwood One, a Cumulus subsidiary.
Under the banner of Wondery, the network currently offers several shows, most notably:
- Dirty John - produced in partnership with the Los Angeles Times and adapted into the Dirty John series for Bravo
- American History Tellers
- Dr. Death, which won an iHeartRadio Podcast Award for Most Bingeable Podcast in 2019
- The Shrink Next Door
- Business Wars
- American Innovations
And the following "partner" shows:
- Real Crime Profile
- The Rubin Report
- Stories Podcast
- The Daily Dish
- Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald
- Sports War (May 2019— present) a Business Wars podcast franchise expansion on 40 Cumulus Media stations and syndicated by Westwood One
- Littleton, Cynthia (January 13, 2016). "Fox Backs Wondery Podcast Network Launched By Former Exec Hernan Lopez". Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- Petski, Denise (2016-01-13). "Former Fox International Channels CEO Launches Fox-Backed Audio-On-Demand Network". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- Spangler, Todd (2016-03-22). "Jeffrey Glaser, Former 20th Century Fox TV Exec, Joins Podcast Startup Wondery". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- Dudley, Joshua (January 22, 2019). "Wondery And Their Wonderful Year Of Storytelling". Forbes. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Spangler, Todd (March 29, 2018). "Podcast Startup Wondery Raises $5 Million From Investors Including Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Steele, Anne (June 27, 2019). "Wondery Raises $10 Million to Take Podcasts Global". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Amore, Samson (June 27, 2019). "Podcast Network Wondery Raises $10 Million Round Led By Waverley Capital". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Lee, Wendy (April 17, 2019). "Universal Music Group partners with Wondery, which produced 'Dirty John' podcast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- "Cumulus Signs Content Deal With Wondery". Radio Ink. May 3, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- "Shows". Wondery. Retrieved 2016-07-12.