Over the past two months, the digital-media company has launched 11 podcasts with creator partners. Those include “Fanboi with Harley Morenstein,” featuring Morenstein (pictured above), the host and creator of Epic Meal Time. Morenstein’s podcast launched last week and hit the top five podcasts on iTunes for the Games and Hobbies category. Other include “Kalyn’s Coffee Talk,” “Don’t Mess with Christine Sydelko,” and “Sh*t They Don’t Tell You” with Nikki Limo and Steve Greene.
The opportunity for Studio71 is to take digital influencers and deliver ad-supported audio-content for millennial and Gen Z audiences (18-34), said CEO Reza Izad. Podcast audiences historically have skewed older than that younger demo.
“When we saw this large, fast-growing audio business growing in front of us we felt it was time for us to enter this space,” he said. “The real business opportunity is this: Digital-native social video YouTuber talent know how to talk really well, and they know how to drive audience development really effectively.”
Podcast advertising in the U.S. is projected to more than double by 2020, to $659 million, up from $314 million in 2017, according to a report released this week from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
Studio71 has partnered with podcast platform Castbox to distribute the podcasts on Apple, Spotify and other services. In addition, video versions of the podcasts can be posted on creators’ YouTube channels. Izad said Studio71 is looking to expand its lineup to 20-25 podcasts by the end of 2018.
“It’s another way to extend the relationship with our advertisers,” Izad said. “We are starting to run ads, but it’s pretty early days.”
One of the early hits is Christine Sydelko’s podcast, who has been garnered 750,000 to 1 million listens per episode for her series. Studio71 describes it as a podcast “that forges through the pillars of modern day society in conjunction with past social constructs.”
Studio71 Podcasts division is currently being overseen by Adam Boorstin, executive VP of global distribution and business development, and has hired an audio production crew. The company is looking to hire a general manager to run Studio71 Podcasts, Izad said.
The other podcasts Studio71 has launched so far are: “Be.Scared” with Be.Busta; “Bottoms Up! with Tré Melvin”; “Going In Raw” with Steve and Larson; “Spellbound” with Julian Smith; “What’s Underneath with StyleLikeU”; “Educating Josh”; and “Exposed” with Motoki Maxted.
Studio71 is owned by German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1. In December 2017, the company merged Studio71 and Red Arrow Entertainment Group into a new division, Red Arrow Studios.