It’s not just in the U.S. where audio has become a hot business opportunity for entrepreneurs. It’s also occurring around the globe. That’s on display in London today where the audio production team at Wisebuddah is breaking off and creating what they hope to be the U.K.’s largest audio-only production house.
Listen Entertainment says it will create a full range of audio media production from podcasting and on-demand, to live and recorded radio. As part of the move, Listen is acquiring the content production business of Wisebuddah, including the company’s roster of work. It means that the current production, business development, marketing, operations and production finance teams will also be moving over to Listen.
Listen is led by Adam Uytman, who’ll serve as Director of Content, and Josh Adley, who is the new company’s Director of Commercial & Client Relations. They will be joined by Executive Director Tim Hammond. All three are exiting their positions at Wisebuddah to focus entirely on the new venture. Wisebuddah founder, Mark Goodier, becomes Chair of the Listen board.
“The world of audio is on fire right now and, in particular, podcasting is booming,” said Uytman. “New technologies, including connected cars and smart speakers, have made it much easier for consumers to listen to audio content which, in turn, creates more opportunities for creators.” He said the U.K. market currently “lags” behind the U.S. in innovation and investment in the audio space but thinks that gap with narrow quickly during the next there years.
The Listen team isn’t new to audio. While working at Wisebuddah they were involved in several high-profile projects, including the hit podcasts The Gemma Collins Podcast for BBC Sounds and the true crime podcast Beyond Reasonable Doubt that topped the Apple Podcast chart and was called by some as “the U.K.’s answer to Serial.” The team also worked on several projects for Audible as well as a host of branded content series for clients including Starbucks, Stylist, Marathonbet, The Sun, Attitude Magazine and the U.K.’s National Health Service. They also consulted the BBC Radio on several of its broadcast shows.
“Listen’s main focus will be the growth in our podcasting division,” Adley said. “We will be working under a variety of commercial models, including investing our own funds in original projects; partnering with creatives/talent to collaborate on the production of new original podcasts; and working with brands and their agencies on content that tells their stories in innovative ways.”
Listen will continue working with BBC, Audible and podcast partners at companies including Acast, Audioboom and Global. Hammond said in the announcement that he believes their experience in the audio business will help differentiate Listen in the marketplace.
“Audio’s boom time is happening right now. Big players across the world are moving into audio in a way that was never anticipated five years ago,” said Hammond. “The growth of the audience, of brands’ involvement, and the transition of audio content into other forms such as live, books and TV, has all helped solidify audio’s reputation as a fantastic platform for IP creation and exploitation.”