Jake Brennan, the creator and host of the podcast Disgraceland, which explores the nexus of rock n’ roll and true crime, is launching a new audio-driven media company that will focus on music and pop culture. Double Elvis Productions, founded by Brennan and business partner Brady Sadler, will create original entertainment properties rooted in podcasting.
“There is no shortage of great stories out there, but not all of them fit into the world of Disgraceland,” Brennan said. “Double Elvis is a way for me to help bring to life other stories that I want to hear, from an emerging group of compelling and diverse storytellers that challenge and inspire me to continue to try and push the limits of the podcast medium.”
Jake Shapiro, co-founder and CEO of RadioPublic and Podfund, is an investor in Double Elvis. He says the new company is at the vanguard of creator-led studios building impactful media companies in podcasting, "Jake and Brady’s skills in storytelling, production, and marketing, matched by entrepreneurial instincts, are the essential ingredients for success at a transformational moment in the industry,” said Shapiro.
Double Elvis Productions’ first offering is Dear Young Rocker, one of four new music-focused podcasts in the works in a partnership with iHeartMedia. Set for release in early 2020, Dear Young Rocker is described as a first-person, coming of age story about the struggles of young adulthood and the power of music. Told from the perspective of host Chelsea Ursin, the show creates a dialogue around the issues of body image, gender power dynamics and mental health, and shines a spotlight on the way these issues are severely magnified during our formative years. “Working with iHeartRadio on this new slate gives these creators a massive platform to help them find their audience,” said Brennan.
Ursin, who initially launched the show independently before teaming with Double Elvis Productions, said Brennan and Sadler share her commitment to showcasing the power of music through creative storytelling. “I feel truly supported in my fierce individuality as a creator. They’re helping me do exactly what I want to do while I stay true to my DIY sensibilities," she said.
Disgraceland, which Brennan released in partnership with iHeartRadio, is now in its fourth season. Since joining the iHeartPodcast Network, Disgraceland has seen big growth in its download numbers in part due to iHeartMedia’s "Podcast, Meet Broadcast" marketing initiative, which they plan to employ for the new slate of Double Elvis Productions shows.
Earlier this year Brennan agreed to produce two more seasons of Disgraceland for the iHeartPodcast Network. Brennan is also producing two other shows. The first is Rocka Rolla that focuses on Phil Spector and his journey from teen performer to legendary record producer, and later what led up to his 2009 murder conviction. Brennan is also producing a podcast called The 27 Club. It explores the lives of rock stars that all mysteriously died at the age of 27. Both of the two new podcasts, co-produced by iHeartRadio, will use the same storytelling style as has been used in Disgraceland.
"Through the podcast Disgraceland, we were all introduced to one of our medium’s great talents, Jake Brennan," said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. "And now, we could not be more excited to support Jake as he moves into the role of executive producer—there’s much more to come from Jake, as we build out a slate of groundbreaking content in partnership with his company."
Prior to Double Elvis Productions, Sadler spent 15 years in brand marketing, professional sports and entertainment, having started his career with The Walt Disney Company. He also co-founded a platform that developed over 100 partnerships between artists and brands.
Double Elvis Productions is represented by Oren Rosenbaum at United Talent Agency. "Our success with Disgraceland is just the beginning and I am thrilled to be working with Jake and Brady,” said Rosenbaum. “Dear Young Rocker and our other forthcoming shows play into a broader landscape for adaptation to television and additional derivatives”