The podcast industry is gaining another new player, this one focused on scripted stories for women.
Digital executives Jaime Primak Sullivan and Katie Christian have teamed up to launch Summer Audio, a podcast studio that will produce fictional stories across multiple genres.
Summer Audio will organize its projects under three network banners. Nightstand will focus on psychological and erotic thrillers, and its first batch of projects includes an update on 1970s radio thriller The crack in the wall; Good Book will publish projects inspired by Bible stories, including a multigenerational soap opera Genesis; and Student Body will produce YA projects like a thriller Who Killed Beatrice Franks?
“Nightstand, Student Body and Good Book are aimed at niche audiences whose content has historically been limited,” said Primak Sullivan, who writes two Nightstand projects. “Our stories will engage these audiences with engaging, high-quality content produced specifically with their imaginations in mind.”
Like many podcast start-ups springing up after the space boom, Summer Audio will be looking to adapt its projects for film and TV. So far, Gimlet Media and Spotify-owned Wondery have been most successful in transforming their audio shows, including Back home and dirty jeansin on-screen projects.
“We see fiction podcasts as an opportunity to work with creators and across genres that are harder to support in traditional Hollywood infrastructure,” Christian said. “By matching original IP with active audiences, we can then use our industry experience and connections to bring these stories from sound to screen as film and television properties.”
Both women have Hollywood experience that they will bring to the adaptation process. Primak Sullivan began his career as a publicist, eventually starring in and producing the short-lived Bravo docuseries Beautiful Swimsuit. She has spent the past two years as head of digital development and production at Will Packer Media. Christian, meanwhile, served as vice president of original programming at StyleHaul before joining MGM, where she oversaw development for digital and news platforms until the end of 2018.
Summer Audio is currently meeting with creative talent to come up with a slate of projects in English and Spanish. He also plans to work with traditional media companies interested in entering the podcast space. Its first batch of shows are set to launch in early 2020.