BBC Sounds wants "blockbuster" drama podcasts

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BBC Sounds has revealed it’s looking for blockbuster podcasts, “to rival the Avengers”.

According to Jason Phipps, Commissioning Editor for Podcasts, the BBC is on the hunt for a new storytelling trend - “hopepunk.” This is detailed, diverse characters, who aren’t afraid to be fighting for something, choosing hope even when things are bad.

Phipps points to the successes of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy and Sense8, also Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and Black Panther.

“You can see its undeniable appeal. It addresses the reality of younger people in the modern world, whose lives are precariously close to dystopic visions but who need to tell and hear stories of triumph in adversity, not defeat by cruelty,” he explained.

He added that while there’s a golden era of television drama, there’s also a growth in the genre for podcasts:

“Podcast drama today is an intoxicating mix of brilliant upstarts and big-screen hitters. Hugely imaginative DIY creators are spinning magic on shoestring budgets with shows such as the British sci-fi We Fix Space Junk, or Archive 81 from the ridiculously talented Dead Signals team in the US.

“Meanwhile, just as A-listers have left cinema for the creative opportunities of the small screen, Hollywood names are going straight from the Oscar podium to podcasting. Hot on the heels of the second season of Marvel’s Wolverine podcast starring Richard Armitage, last month Oscar-winner Rami Malek released the dystopic thriller podcast drama Blackout in which he stars and exec produces.”

BBC Sounds has issued a call for a new podcast “blockbuster” based around three key priorities: Innovation; New voices; and New Audiences.