Fiction podcast powerhouse Realm acquires Pinna and Listick & Vinyl, announces new alliances
Leading independent fiction podcast company Realm, known for its award-winning fiction titles, original IP generation and global podcast network, is poised to expand into the kids and family sector with the acquisition of Pinna and its slate of 150+ wholly-owned and extensive library of licensed titles, including award-winning kids and family audio series like Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest, Opal Watson: Private Eye, Totally Unauthorized Minecraft Fan Show, Quentin & Alfie (soon to be a four book series with FSG/MacMillan), and A-Z Mysteries produced with Penguin Random House inspired by the bestselling book series by Ron Roy.
In addition to Pinna, Realm will also represent over 375 hours of original, kid-centric content based on two new ad sales alliances with Rebel Girls and GoKidGo.
Realm has also acquired the podcast company Lipstick & Vinyl, founded by Allyson Marino in 2018 and focused on unscripted podcasts from underrepresented voices. Lipstick & Vinyl brings to Realm 50+ ongoing podcasts in categories including entertainment and lifestyle, such as The Only One In The Room and Broke Girl Therapy, that appeal to women in their 20s and 30s, the demo most in demand by advertisers.
With these new deals, Realm triples the volume of audio entertainment flowing through the network to over 6,000 hours, comprising nearly 300 audio series. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Realm co-founder and CEO Molly Barton said: “There is untapped potential in kids’ audio, a nascent, fast-growing, evergreen market. We see the acquisition of Pinna as a first meaningful step in our commitment to this category and our new partnerships with Rebel Girls and GoKidGo will fuel our collective success."
Barton added: "Our acquisition of Lipstick & Vinyl and its compelling unscripted fare is a perfect addition to our fiction lineup and an accelerant for our flywheel of growth. We see this content as complementary and an opportunity to elevate diverse and engaging voices across lifestyle, entertainment and pop-culture.”
Realm, which will launch an audio production hub dedicated to kids and families on the heels of the Pinna acquisition, will widen Pinna’s reach through its expansive ad-supported distribution network and amplify their existing, robust subscription business (complementary to Realm’s subscription offerings Realm+ on Apple and Realm Unlimited). Former Pinna CEO Maggie McGuire will serve as an advisor to the newly combined company. Pinna, which caters to kids 3 to 12 and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2023, will continue to have a separate digital footprint from Realm.
Rebel Girls is an award-winning empowerment brand who creates empowering girl-driven content, product and experiences to inspire and build confidence in Generation Alpha girls around the world. Their Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast has won multiple Webby Awards and People’s Choice Podcast Awards, is a Common Sense Selection for Kids and Family, and received more than 23 million downloads. GoKidGo, the audio imagination company for kids founded and helmed by CEO Maia Glikman and COO Jennifer Clary, brings to Realm the expansive, interconnected five-program story universe of Pflugerville, dozens of beloved shows like Story Train and The Upside Down Story, and fresh IP from creators like R.L. Stine.
In personnel news, Realm announced a management restructure anchored by several promotions and new hires. Former Warner Bros. Animation exec John Brooks, who joined Realm in Dec 2022, has been promoted to Head of Content. Based in Los Angeles, John will report to Barton. Nicole Kreutter, formerly of CAA, has been promoted to Head of Network; Blandine Mercier-McGovern, who joins Realm from Bibliotheca as Director of Business Development; and Heather Mason, has been upped to Audience Development Lead — the three will report in to Realm Vice President Mary Assadullahi. Krystle Waters, who joins Realm from BlueWire as Network Lead, reports into Kreutter.
Currently, Realm develops and creates provocative, entertaining genre and franchise-inspired content for leading entertainment companies including Warner Bros. Paramount, Marvel, AMC, and Spotify. Since the launch of its podcast network two years ago, Realm has made a significant mark with eight shows hitting the top of the fiction charts and multiple titles being recognized with awards including IF I GO MISSING THE WITCHES DID IT starring Oscar nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, OUTLIERS narrated by Rory Culkin, and MARIGOLD BREACH starring Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto.
Led by former book publishing executive Molly Barton, Realm is an industry-leading studio and global podcast network. Realm partners with top-tier talent and entertainment companies including Warner Bros, DC, AMC Networks, Marvel, and Spotify to develop, produce, distribute, and monetize immersive audio series that deeply engage audiences.
Realm has brought more top-charting fiction shows to audiences than any competitor with eight shows hitting #1 on Apple Podcasts. Realm’s podcasts have been nominated for and won numerous awards, including Audies, Ambies, Webbys, Signal Awards, and iHeart Podcast Awards. Realm Originals have been translated into 12 languages and eight Realm Originals are in development for Film/TV.
Notable titles include the #1 Spotify podcast HARLEY QUINN & THE JOKER: SOUND MIND starring Christina Ricci and Billy Magnussen, THE FLASH: ESCAPE THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS starring Max Greenfield, and fan favorites OUTLIERS voiced by Rory Culkin, IF I GO MISSING THE WITCHES DID IT starring Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe; ORPHAN BLACK: THE NEXT CHAPTER and POWER TRIP starring Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany; MARIGOLD BREACH starring Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto; and ECHO PARK starring Harry Shum Jr.
Pinna, LLC is an entertainment and media company and the creator of the first and only on-demand audio entertainment service developed and curated exclusively for kids 3-12. With thousands of podcast episodes, interactive audio games, audiobooks, and songs, Pinna partners with respected children’s brands and produces original programming under the Pinna Originals brand. Pinna is available in the iOS, Android, and Amazon app stores both domestically and internationally and can also be accessed on the web. For more information visit pinna.fm.
About Lipstick & Vinyl
Los Angeles-based Lipstick & Vinyl network was founded by Allyson Marino in 2018 to provide podcast network opportunities for underrepresented voices. From its humble beginnings with just a few podcasts, Lipstick & Vinyl now represents nearly fifty shows including All Things Internet’s podcast, Rachel Uncensored, Broke Girl Therapy and The Only One in the Room. In 2021, Lipstick and Vinyl was acquired by a group led by Media Executives Richard Marks and Rob Magaziner.
About Rebel Girls
Rebel Girls, a certified B Corporation, is a global, multi-platform empowerment brand dedicated to helping raise the most inspired and confident generation of girls through content, experiences, products, and community. Originating from an international best-selling children’s book, Rebel Girls amplifies stories of real-life, extraordinary women throughout history, geography, and field of excellence. With a growing community of 30 million self-identified Rebel Girls spanning more than 100 countries, the brand engages with Generation Alpha through its book series, premier app, events, and merchandise. To date, Rebel Girls has sold more than 10 million books in 50 languages and reached 23 million digital audio listens. Award recognition includes New York Times bestseller list, 2022 Apple Design Award for Social Impact, multiple Webby Awards for family & kids and education, and Common Sense Media Selection honors among many others.
GoKidGo, the award winning audio imagination company for kids helmed by producers Maia Glikman and Jennifer Clary, creates audio experiences that feel like Pixar for your ears, and that offer practical support for the very real needs facing children around inclusivity, education, and time away from screens.
Through collaboration with organizations like WURRLYedu and the University of Texas, GoKidGo’s award winning team creates innovative content with social, emotional and academic development best practices. GoKidGo is enhanced by beloved talents like R.L. Stine and enjoys supportive partnerships with Stampede Ventures, HappyNest, Baboon Animation, Workhouse Media, and pocket.watch. GoKidGo is represented by UTA.
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