Former executives from Canal Plus, entertainment company Konbini and advertising film Havas have joined forces to launch Paradiso, an international podcast production studio dedicated to delivering premium scripted, documentary and kids’ content for global platforms. The company has already scored commissions from Spotify and Sybel.
Paradiso’s founding partners are Lorenzo Benedetti, the founder of Studio Bagel and former director of digital creation at the Canal Plus Group; Louis Daboussy, the former CCO at Konbini; and Benoit Dunaigre, who formerly worked at Havas. The partners have already conducted an initial fundraising round that will allow Paradiso to build creative and production teams in Paris, London and Los Angeles, with an overall staff of 35 people.
The aim is to produce at least 12 series by the end of 2020 for international platforms, such as Spotify, Audible, Sybel, Deezer and Majelan, and to create formats in multiple languages, including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.
The company is kicking off with two formats currently in production: “The Promo Hotline,” a short comedy interview format for Spotify written and directed by Géraldine de Margerie (“Tutotal,” “Call My Agent!”), and “The Killer With a Pockmarked Face,” an eight-part series for Sybel that follows the true story of the hunt for a French serial killer wanted for more than 33 years. The latter series is being co-produced with Louie Media, Les Jours, Le Seuil and Sybel.
The company has two other series in development with Cyril Tysz and Guillaume Enard, the screenwriters of the popular series “Skam,” and another format with de Margerie. More than 15 other podcast projects are in development.
Paradiso is also looking to build a library of formats that can be adapted into films and series in the same way that the podcast “Homecoming” was adapted into a series for Amazon Prime or “Serial” for HBO.
Company partner Benedetti is one of the pioneers of high-concept audio creation in Europe. His production credits include “Calls,” a suspense series created by Timothée Hochet, which boasted a prestigious voice cast and featured audio recordings found after mysterious tragic events. The series was broadcast on Canal Plus and acquired by Apple for an international remake.
Through his banner Studio Bagel, which was acquired by Canal Plus in 2014, Benedetti gave a platform to promising comedy talents and produced a flurry of hit short-format series such as “Les Tutos,” “Les Recettes Pompettes,” “Groom” and “Les Filles d’Aujourd’hui.”
Paradiso has received the financing backing of senior media executives such as Rodolphe Belmer, the former boss of Canal Plus Group, who is now on Netflix’s board of directors; Mediawan, which is chaired by Pierre-Antoine Capton; Grégory Dray of Google; Julien Leroux of Cineflix Media; and the company Iconoclast.