Imagine if “Jurassic Park” or “Jaws” hadn’t unfolded on the big screen. If, instead of reveling in cinematic carnage, audiences might have experienced the bloodletting of these dinosaurs and giant sharks from the relative safety of their earbuds.
At least, that’s the latest idea from Cadence13, a podcast company that counts Goop and Crooked Media among its partners. As its latest foray into the white-hot podcasting space, the company is launching C13Features, which will back thrillers, dramas, comedies, and other stories that unspool between 90 minutes to two-hours, or roughly the length of a feature film. Each C13Feature will be a fictionalized story with a beginning, a middle and end, all wrapped into one podcast episode — similar to a movie arc. The company plans to hire movie stars and prominent actors to voice key roles and to partner with film directors and other creative talent.
“We want to create a brand new lane of storytelling and build a brand new type of listening experience, Chris Corcoran, chief content officer and founding partner of Cadence13, said in an interview with Variety.
Corcoran concocted and developed the concept for C13Features, and will serve as executive producer for all productions and features while leading the new studio. He hopes that C13Features will serve as an “IP incubator,” by which he means it will create programming that could be reconstituted as movies or television shows. Already, podcasts such as “Slow Burn” and “Homecoming” have served as the inspiration for television shows, and Cadence13’s new venture comes as Hollywood is becoming increasingly invested in the podcasting space. That’s partly due to the dramatic rise in popularity of podcasts and companies ability to better monetize their programming — before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, U.S. advertisers the U.S. podcast market was expected to grow 27% to $863 million in revenue.
As Corcoran and his team search for projects to back they have enlisted a powerful ally. Endeavor Content, a division of the media conglomerate and talent agency, will partner with Cadence13 throughout the process, from development all the way to production, bringing its experience across film, tv and audio to the feature podcast as well as maximizing derivative opportunities for the IP across film and television.
“There are a lot of scripts out there that are un-produced that might work and there are also original scripts that we hope to develop,” said Corcoran. “There can’t be too many characters and we need a compelling storyline that keeps listeners engaged.”
There are certain movie and television templates that Corcoran references in describing his ideal projects.
“To me ‘Jaws’ or something like ‘The Blair Witch Project’ or ‘Stranger Things’ would work well,” he said. “Dramas or thrillers would be good.”
These one-episode original scripted features are intended to launch franchises, which makes Cadence13’s strategy similar to that of major film studios. The hope is many shows will have multiple seasons with one installment leaving audiences eagerly anticipating sequels and spinoffs.
“‘Jaws’ led to ‘Jaws 2’ and ‘Jaws 3,'” says Corcoran. “We envision this as a long play.”