Subscription podcasting platform Luminary launches in Australia

Staff Writer

US-based podcast app Luminary has launched in Australia, betting that the market is ready to pay for podcasts in the same way it does for music and video.

The new platform simultaneously rolled out in the US, UK and Canada offering a free and premium tier.

The latter costs $7.99 a month and includes 40 exclusive original shows from the likes of US comedian Trevor Noah, writer and actress Lena Dunham, Australian Instragramer Celeste Barber, journalist and radio host Leon Neyfakh and comedian Hannibal Buress.

Users can also access popular shows like Under the Skin with Russell Brand, IAMRAPAPORT, Love and Radio and Note to Self.

However, some podcasts available free elsewhere declined to be part of Luminary.

They include The New York Times’ The Daily and podcasts from Gimlet Media, which was bought by Spotify for US$230 million in February as part of its evolution from being just a music streaming service.

Studies in the past 12 months have proven that podcasts are the fastest growing audio service in Australia.

Podcast penetration is 19% overall but rises to 28% among users of streaming services.

Last year there were 3.5 million Australians listening to podcasts, with PwC’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook forecasts the number of monthly listeners to reach 8.9 million by 2022.

Luminary co-founder and CEO Matt Sacks says, “Luminary has made a major investment in technology to develop a free app that anyone can use to find and listen to the content they want to hear when they want to hear it, whether it’s a publicly available ad-supported show or a show on our premium network.”

The Australian market has seen media companies as a radio consortium, as well as Ten and News Corp working actively to move further into the podcasting space.

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