As part of the deal, Shondaland is launching a new division called Shondaland Audio, with executive Sandie Bailey in charge of day-to-day operations. Rhimes will be involved as well, overseeing the development of the new podcasts.
While Shondaland is known for its TV shows, it has already been moving into podcasting with Katie’s Crib, a show about motherhood from actress Katie Lowes. (The announcement says new episodes of Katie’s Crib will be part of the Shondaland Audio slate.)
This partnership seems particularly noteworthy as Rhimes helped to kick off the current wave of huge streaming deals for content creators when she signed with Netflix two years ago. There haven’t been quite as many eyebrow-raising deals in the podcasting world — but the Obamas did sign with Spotify a few months ago.
“Podcasting continues to see tremendous growth and I’m excited to partner with iHeartMedia as Shondaland expands its storytelling journey into this medium which has seemed to usher in a unique sense of boldness, intimacy and connection,” Rhimes said in a statement. “With iHeartMedia we aim to share stories that are engaging, insightful, and reflect a robust world-view while staying true to the authentic storytelling voice that has become synonymous with Shondaland.”
iHeartRadio’s parent company, iHeartMedia, has also shown a growing interest in podcasting, most notably with the acquisition of HowStuffWorks last year. And it’s also starting to play podcasts on its terrestrial radio stations.