Listen launches to take advantage of the boom in audio
PRESS RELEASE — September 30, 2019
London, UK—Wisebuddah’s award-winning content team have announced the launch of Listen Entertainment Limited (Listen), a new company vying for the position as the UK’s largest audio-only production company. Listen - launched to maximise clients’ potential in podcasting - will be led by Adam Uytman as Director of Content and Josh Adley as Director of Commercial & Client Relations. Uytman and Adley will be joined by Executive Director Tim Hammond. The senior management team - who are departing Wisebuddah to launch Listen - combines a wealth of experience across the podcast, wider audio, TV, advertising and media industries.
Adam Uytman, Director of Content, Listen, says: “The world of audio is on fire right now and, in particular, podcasting is booming. 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. The UK currently lags behind the US in innovation and investment in this space. However, the next three years will see the UK catching up rapidly. Listen will lead the next wave of audio content creation in the UK for consumption by global audiences and the company will help clients navigate the future of this exciting medium.”
As well as producing across the full range of audio media and across all genres - from podcasting and on-demand, to live and recorded radio - Listen will also offer a consultancy service, working with clients on their audio strategy.
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.
Wisebuddah’s content team are behind some of the industry’s most high-profile audio projects:
podcasts such as the recently-launched, chart-topping The Gemma Collins Podcast for BBC Sounds and the true crime hit Beyond Reasonable Doubt which was nominated for a British Podcast Award, spent four weeks at number one in the iTunes podcast chart and has been described as ‘the UK’s answer to Serial’. Other successful podcasts include a large portfolio of commissions for Audible including series Hysteria, Unlearn, A Grown-up Guide to Dinosaurs, The Appliance of Science with Bill Bryson and Get Happy, looking at the science of happiness; as well as The Greatest Dancer Podcast which accompanied the high-profile BBC One Syco/Fremantle Saturday night entertainment series; as well as a host of branded content series for clients including Starbucks, Stylist, Marathonbet, The Sun, Attitude Magazine and the NHS.
some of the UK’s most-loved radio shows including: BBC Radio 1’s Indie Show with Jack Saunders; The Michael Ball Show, Claudia on Sunday, The Radio 2 Rock Show with Johnnie Walker, Sounds Of The 80s with Gary Davies and Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of The Seventies all for BBC Radio 2; BBC 6 Music’s Huey Morgan; Panjabi Hit Squad for BBC Asian Network and Highly Rated for Scala Radio.
Listen will also offer audio strategy consultancy to help clients make the most of the explosion of opportunities in audio - from strategic consultancy to bespoke advice about commercialisation, how to best use the medium and maximising audience reach.
Josh Adley, Director of Commercial & Client Relations, Listen, says: “Listen’s main focus will be the growth in our podcasting division. The highest possible quality of audio production is a given, but it takes more than that to make a podcast successful. We can guide clients through the whole process - from idea conception to content creation, distribution, monetisation and promotion. We can also advise companies on their wider audio strategy, so that they can maximise commercial opportunities in the burgeoning audio market.”
“We will be working under a variety of commercial models,” adds Adley, “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. We’ll continue to deliver the very best content to commissioners such as BBC and Audible, whilst working with podcast partners such as Acast, Audioboom and Global.”
Tim Hammond, Executive Director, Listen says: “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. 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. With over 25 years’ knowledge of the sector, we are streets ahead of many other companies in the marketplace in terms of understanding what the growth of audio means. The audio world is accelerating fast and Listen will guide and inspire clients to make the most of the opportunities it offers.”
Wisebuddah founder, Mark Goodier, becomes Chair of the Listen board.
All other Wisebuddah businesses (Studios and Jingles) remain unaffected by the launch of Listen.
About Listen’s Senior Team
Listen is lead by the following senior team:
Adam Uytman, Director of Content - recognised as one of the leading figures in the audio content industry, Adam Uytman has 20 years’ experience spanning high-profile roles in both public service and commercial radio. Former Head of Content at Wisebuddah, Uytman was previously Acting Head of Production for BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network. His roles also included Editor, BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and Editor, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music. As Programme Director, XFM London, he was accountable for developing an ongoing strategy for audience and business growth and at Bauer Media as Programme Director, Kerrang! Radio, he saw 6 Sony nominations with 4 Gold awards including Station of the Year.
Josh Adley, Director of Commercial & Client Relations - formerly Head of Business Development of Wisebuddah, Josh Adley has 10 years’ experience of working in the media, advertising, production and live music industries. He has worked on award-winning and multi-million-pound global advertising campaigns and for brands including Vodafone, Sky and Kuoni. His career includes roles spanning business development and commercial strategy to client management and partnerships. Prior to joining Wisebuddah, Josh worked at Grey London, Sky IQ (part of Sky), and live music agency and music management company ATC. Outside of work, he set up Linkey, a social enterprise, which has been featured by Forbes, Time Out, BBC One, Sky News, Metro, Vogue, BBC 3, Huffington Post and many more.
Tim Hammond, Executive Director - Tim Hammond has over 20 years’ experience of working with media businesses. An expert in commercial development for the content sector, he has advised a wide range of companies on IP management and exploitation and brand and co-production partnerships. Formerly Managing Director of Wisebuddah, his previous roles include Commercial Director and Director of Production and Operations at Gallowgate, where he was responsible for some of the UK’s biggest TV entertainment format hits including Saturday Night Takeaway, Pokerface and Push The Button. He has also been Director of Operations at Target Entertainment, Head of Production at Carlton ITV and Commercial Director at Group M Entertainment, an operating unit of WPP, involved in the business of investing in, financing and distributing television content.
Mark Goodier, Chair - broadcaster, entrepreneur and voice-over artist, Mark Goodier is best-known for his widespread radio presenting work. He has worked extensively across both BBC and commercial radio. He founded Wisebuddah in 1994 and is a Fellow of The Radio Academy.
The senior team will be supported by a range of Executive Producers including Nick Minter, Clare Chadburn, Paul Thomas and newly-appointed Alex Smith, who is joining from BBC Studios to specialise in podcasts.
About the Work Being Acquired
Listen is acquiring the content production business of Wisebuddah, which includes the company’s roster of work. As well as a wide range of podcasting projects for brands, broadcasters and talent, currently in production and development, the slate also features many strands of long-running, high-rating shows. These include: BBC Radio 1’s Indie Show with Jack Saunders; The Michael Ball Show, Vanessa Feltz Early Breakfast, Claudia on Sunday, The Radio 2 Rock Show with Johnnie Walker, Sounds Of The 80s with Gary Davies and Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of The Seventies all for BBC Radio 2; BBC 6 Music’s Huey Morgan; and Panjabi Hit Squad for BBC Asian Network.
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