Sony Music has added several new executives to lead its podcasting strategy over the course of the year, according to an internal memo obtained by Billboard.
Written by Sony Music president, global digital business and U.S. sales Dennis Kooker and Sony Music president, film and TV A&R Tom Mackay, the memo detailed recent hirings of Emily Rasekh as senior vp business development and operations, Brittany Hall as vp sales, Ryan Zack as vp revenue operations and Christy Mirabal as vp marketing. Rasekh will report to Kooker and Mackay; while Hall, Zack and Mirabal will report to Rasekh. All four are based out of the company’s New York office.
“Together this leadership team strongly positions us to super-serve the podcast community, help them reach larger audiences on more platforms and further grow our podcasting business opportunities around the world,” the memo reads. “With a rapidly expanding number of creative partnerships and with the strength of our best-in-class capabilities, we are confident they will keep enhancing Sony Music’s compelling value proposition in the podcasting industry.”
In her new role, Rasekh will drive the strategic expansion of Sony Music’s partnership, distribution and monetization opportunities in the podcast space. She will additionally manage day-to-day relationships with podcasting partners and oversee the podcast sales and marketing teams. Prior to joining Sony Music, she served as vp of digital partnerships at Entercom, where she oversaw the company’s digital content distribution strategy. She previously helped launch CBS Radio’s audio-on-demand business, whose total podcast listenership grew from 4 million to 25 million in just two years.
Hall will oversee the commercial strategy and monetization of podcasts for Sony Music and its partners. She comes from Pandora, where she was tasked with driving revenue from clients across all verticals and showcasing product offerings, including podcasts, to advertisers.
Zack will run Sony Music’s ad operations strategy, pricing and inventory management and also serve as a communication link between the finance and sales teams to establish best practices for billing, reporting, forecasting and pipeline reporting. He hails from Megaphone, where he led day-to-day efforts for the sales planning, advertising operations and advertising solutions teams.
Finally, Mirabal will oversee all strategic marketing efforts — including planning, development and execution of brand awareness initiatives — for the company’s podcast projects. She most recently led the brand team at Stitcher and previously oversaw podcast audience development at Panoply Media.
Sony Music has been notably ramping up its podcasting efforts this year. Just last month, the company announced it was teaming with The Onion for a daily satirical podcast, while in October the company formed Broccoli Content, a new joint venture with podcast producer Renay Richardson that will develop podcasts across multiple genres. And in May, the company formed a joint venture with podcast developers Laura Mayer and Adam Davidson to find and develop new podcast talent and programming.