Ari Emanuel48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 23 Sep 2017

The growth of podcasts certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Endeavor, formerly WME|IMG, is launching its own podcast arm, or an “audio-first entertainment brand” as it characterized Endeavor Audio, which will manage the development of shows and content from their inception through distribution and marketing.

The multimedia and talent agency has lured a number of new executives to lead the segment. Moses Soyoola is serving as general manager, coming on from his executive role at podcast network Panoply Media. He said the goal of Endeavor Audio “is to elevate audio as a storytelling platform for the entertainment industry.”

Despite more than 550,000 podcasts being available, Soyoola said “there remains huge opportunity to innovate and be ‘first’ in the category” of entertainment. “We want to help creators of all kinds explore and develop audio entertainment that reaches new audiences the podcast community hasn’t spoken to before,” he added.

The segment is also launching with some entertainment partners lined up. Dick Wolf, famed creator of “Law & Order” and a longtime television producer, is bringing himself and his production company Wolf Entertainment onboard for a series of “dramatized podcasts in the crime genre.” Wolf’s first podcast is already in development with production company Magical Elves, which is behind “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” among other series.

“The crime genre transcends all platforms,” Wolf said.

Another launch partner is Mass Appeal, a multimedia company and agency focused on urban youth culture that began as a graffiti fanzine in the Nineties, which is expecting to develop between five and 10 podcasts.

“[Endeavor’s] aim to make podcasts mainstream and their strategy of creating content for audiences that are currently underserved aligns perfectly with our vision,” Peter Bittenbender, chief executive officer of Mass Appeal, said.

Endeavor is also bringing in podcast network Parcast to aid in distribution and monetization, along with “Limetown,” a fictional podcast series that is already an Endeavor client, which is launching a second season next month.

Other executives coming on to run the segment are Lisa LaCour as head of marketing, coming from digital advertising agency Outbrain; Dave Easton as head of content and development coming off a stint at podcast developer Cadence13 and as a producer for Fox Sports, and Charlie Emerson as head of sales, coming over from a senior director role at Endeavor’s marketing arm.

Endeavor has been working in the podcast space with clients for several years already, so an effort to go beyond talent representation and bring in-house all elements of the platform is in line with its strategy in other business areas, like fashion and sports. The company represents popular podcast companies like Crooked Media, which created “Pod Save America,” as well as author Malcolm Gladwell, who hosts “Revisionist History” and Stephen Dubner, another author who hosts “Freakonomics Radio.” Naturally, Endeavor has led a number of podcast adaptation deals, too, including for “Pod Save America.”

For More, See:

Guardian Launching Daily News Podcast

Constance White Creating Fashion Podcast With Univision

NPR Expands Executive Ranks With Three New Roles      

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