Podcast company

James Nesbitt and rugby stars launch podcast company

Actor James Nesbitt and former England rugby stars Mike Tindall and James Haskell are among the co-founders of Folding Pocket, a new multimedia storytelling company.

The production company works on original content with platforms such as Spotify, Audible, and Amazon Music.

A podcast-led “branding powerhouse”, Folding Pocket uses original programming as the centerpiece for “vibrant and exciting” cross-platform digital channels. “The approach offers a unique value proposition for talent, auditors, brands and agencies, and offers talented creatives a way to grow their portfolio and independence with exciting and original projects in which they share a stake. “

Folding Pocket will be part of Platform, a newly formed group of media and technology companies that collaborate to build brands and audiences.

Matthew Sherry, CEO of Platform, says, “Podcasts are growing exponentially, but we’ve heard all the time from brands that they don’t know how to activate them within them. There is also the challenge of standing out in a saturated market where the only real showcases for podcasts are the applications that distribute them. The platform model solves both problems, as shown by The good, the bad and the rugby. Not only is GB&R arguably the largest non-linear rugby lineup in the world, the brand is poised to deliver significant commercial media value in its first year.

“We use our representative sample of companies to transform podcasts into premium brands that deliver audience, fame and value. This results in distinct audiences on different platforms and a discovery funnel that ranges from the full show and magical moments reaching out to a wider audience via social video, to memes and responsive content without context. that integrate our programming into the culture in general. This strategy has already led to impactful programming that has both created and captured the news of the day. “

The company’s current programming includes The good, the bad and the rugby, with Tindall alongside ex-England star James Haskell and presenter Alex Payne, Brydon &, Rob Brydon’s new interview podcast that’s exclusively on Spotify, and Fight inside featuring former two-weight world champion boxer Carl Frampton. The company has other large-scale projects in development involving some of the “world’s greatest talent”.

Mike Tindall says: “We have only launched The good, the bad and the rugby eight months ago and it became the biggest rugby podcast in the world. But we wanted to create something that was more than just an audio experience and use it as a template for what is possible in a variety of different industries. Thanks to all the hard work we have done over the past year, we have already created a successful branch focused on women’s rugby – with current England star Emily Scarratt.

James Nesbitt adds: “When I first saw the blueprints for what was going on here, I knew I had to be involved. Two or three things mostly excited me. First, the business model – it is as ambitious as it is unique in the market, and it will prove to be incredibly attractive to attract the attention of the most talented talent. And, second, the quality of the programming. In everything from sports and entertainment projects to narrative journalism and scripted fiction, the concepts and formats that have been imagined here are exceptional. And, especially in drama, the scripts for some of Folding Pocket’s upcoming productions are innovative, exciting, and beautifully written.

Platform is home to three companies, in addition to Folding Pocket there is social agency Wildfire, publisher Wildfire Sport and Format, a company offering “next-generation tools for editorial teams and newsrooms that automate and speed up. the creation and publication of content ”. The group is led by Matthew Sherry as CEO; Gaby Khalastchy as director of operations; and Matt Sayward as Chief Strategy Officer.

Platform, co-founded by Sherry, Khalastchy and Sayward, has significant stakes in all four companies. In addition to working alongside clients in television, sports, and the media and entertainment industry, Platform commissions its own content.

Gaby Khalastchy, COO of Platform, said: “Building Folding Pocket to work with our specialized social media and communications agencies gives it an extremely unfair advantage in the market. Wildfire Sport has a great heritage of construction brands; Wildfire is a renowned social marketer. Bringing them together with the exceptional production of Folding Pocket – led by a management team with more than 50 years of experience – will allow Platform to stand out in a crowded market.

“We work with talent, providing intellectual property within projects and real ownership in their own voice,” adds Matt Sayward, chief strategy officer, Platform. “We are already working with a number of well-known names, with extremely exciting projects to be announced soon as part of scripted fiction, entertainment and comedy, sports and journalism programming. Our direct access to incredible talent coupled with our 360 ° model makes us incredibly ambitious in our ordering decisions, as we have to dream big enough to create shows that can support a brand, while also being ready to be made into the cinema. , on television, in video streaming. , books and more. “

Jon Cremier

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