EXCLUSIVE: Booming UK podcast studio Novel is making a big play in the US, hiring senior executives from The Daily and Today in briefentering into a partnership with UTA and opening up conversations about television and film adaptations.
The London-based company, which calls itself “Europe’s largest podcast production studio”, was launched six years ago and has created around 41 shows for the BBC, Spotify and Audible, including the award-winning Bellingcat Podcast and The superhero complex. With a workforce that has grown nearly tenfold since the pandemic began, Novel is now focused on the other side of the pond and already makes about half of its revenue in the United States.
is coming The Daily Senior Audio Producer Austin Mitchell as Creative Director, Production, while The Guardian’s Today in brief Co-executive Mythili Rao, who previously worked for The New Yorker, will soon join the post of editor.
A communications and marketing manager, Indira Birnie, also recently joined Penguin Random House and another signature hire is expected in the near future, according to Deadline.
Novel founder Sean Glynn described Mitchell as “one of the best storytelling podcast producers around” and said he would help the company compete with the biggest podcast makers in storytelling. narrative.
“We want to do things with the highest quality possible with the budgets we get,” he told Deadline. “This is a real step forward in the United States to compete with companies much bigger than us. The United States is where the most exciting things happen.
Novel is creating 11 storytelling podcasts over the next three years under a deal with iHeartMedia and has also signed similar deals with Wondery and UTA.
This latest tie-up could be transformational and will help Novel secure audio distribution deals, leverage intellectual property, and bring high-quality talent to its shows as UTA pushes further into the international audio space. UTA has completed many recent Novel deals.
Shelby Schenkman, UTA agent in audio, said: “From the first day we saw the hustle and bustle of Novel, we saw them as one of the most premium companies in the UK. They are hungry to break into the market and we want to seize this moment as UTA expands audio internationally.
Novel chief executive Matt O’Mara, the former CEO of Vice UK who took over a year ago, said the company will now seek alternative funding models away from the traditional ‘work for hire’ , while he is interested in working on money-making activities. Television and film adaptations, a space where Wondery found success with Peacock’s Doctor Death TV remake.
“A big part of what we’re talking about is telling people that what we’re doing in audio can be exploited in TV and film,” he added.
“We want to have a front row as this grows and are exploring funding mechanisms for greater self-funding. Getting rid of “work for hire” allows you to own a bigger slice of the pie. »