Unified expands into podcasting through Funny Business partnership
Unified Music Group is pressing play on podcasting.
The Melbourne-based independent music company today launches the Funny Business Podcast, an extension to its management division.
Funny Business is spearheaded by Torquay-based friends Rob Hicks and Lachlan Bradford, who switched onto the idea of a business, entrepreneurship and performance podcast
in April 2020, just as COVID-19 turned the live entertainment circuit into a ghost town.
On each episode, Hicks, an ex-AFL/performance coach, and Bradford, an ex-startup whizz, go deep into a diverse range of topics across business, performance, leadership, career and life.
In less than a year, the series has grown to almost 100 full episodes and chalked up over 50,000 downloads, with a long list of high-profile guests joining in, from Urzila Carlson and Adriano Zumbo to health guru Laura Henshaw, James Tidswell, Bridget Hustwaite, Paul Roos and Sir John Kirwan.
With live entertainment shut down, the pandemic created space and time to think.
“With the challenges of 2020 and the lack of touring, as managers, we were forced to look outside the box,” explains Unified Founder and CEO Jaddan Comerford.
“Like most people, we love podcasts and had always talked about how we could work in this space.”
Not much good came from 2020,” Comerford tells TIO, “but meeting the Funny Business guys was one of them. Working with them allows us to use the skills we’ve learned in music to move into the podcast world and further into talent management in general.”
Going forward, Comerford and his artist manager colleague Dan Nascimento (Ocean Alley, Jack Botts) will manage the podcast.
To celebrate the new partnership, Funny Business will host a launch event May 15 at 170 Russell, featuring guests speakers Linktree/Bolster head Alex Zaccaria, skincare brand founder Erika Geraerts and more.
“We’ve said from day one that we wanted to treat ourselves like business rockstars and business athletes,” say Hicks and Bradford in a statement, “so to partner with Unified Music Group who have built some of Australia’s biggest acts feels like the perfect place for us to push the boundaries of what people expect to see from a podcast.”
Once a niche space, podcasting is increasingly seen as a growth driver for music businesses.
Spotify has invested more than half-a-billion dollars on acquiring podcast networks like Gimlet and The Ringer.
The streaming giant’s CEO Daniel Ek recently said 25% of Spotify’s total user base engaged with podcast content in the first quarter quarter, up from 22% in Q3 and 16% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Check out the new episode of Funny Business with Mitch from triple j Hottest 100 champions Ocean Alley here.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.