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Davina McCall and Manchester among hosts as Steven Bartlett launches new global podcast studio

Steven Bartlett, entrepreneur, Dragon and host of Apple’s #1 podcast of 2023 and the second largest podcast on YouTube, The Diary Of A CEO (DOAC), has announced the launch of global podcast media and technology company Flight Studio.

The new company will work across every component of the podcast development, creation, growth and monetisation process, has set itself the ambitious target to “to redefine the industry.”

The studio boasts an impressive launch line up, of which former Big Brother host and Masked Singer judge Davina McCall, one of the UK’s most loved and trusted broadcasters and authors, is perhaps the highest profile. She will be joined at the studio by a roster including:

  • Paul C Brunson, a global leader in relationship science, author and broadcaster. A DOAC guest on two occasions, Paul has amassed over 3M views and some of the highest engagement data to date.
  • Dr Tara Swart, MD, neuroscientist, advisor and author whose DOAC episode has +11M views to date – the highest performing guest of all time.
  • Africa Brooke, author, consultant, coach and international speaker whose DOAC episode had one of the biggest impacts across social metrics after its release.
  • Kristen Holmes, Global Head of Human Performance and Principal Scientist at WHOOP.

Flight Studio’s podcast and media growth platform is the culmination of the last three years of Bartlett and the team’s rigorous approach to experimentation and innovation, resulting in the creation of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing podcast brands, The Diary Of A CEO.

DOAC has had nearly 400M million views to date on YouTube, its audience on Spotify grew by 94% in 2023 and each episode has an average audience of 2M+. DOAC is forecasted to hit 10M+ YouTube subscribers by December 2024, a predicted 100%+ compound annual growth rate.

Flight Studio’s growth platform is focused on creating podcast brands that contribute to a happier, healthier, whole human experience and providing a global audience for category-leading experts across a variety of content.

The new, video-first podcast brands will be scaled on the Flight Studio platform via proprietary data and experimentation, across the end-to-end podcast process: from production to audience growth, to distribution and omni-channel optimisation. The company and platform has a unified approach on integrating leading-edge AI technology in every aspect of this process, including audio translation into multiple languages, as seen on DOAC since late 2023.

Flight Studio will maximise IP expansion for the new podcast brands with a product, ecommerce, live events, publishing and rights team in place. The company has created an innovative commercial offering that will include multi-platform brand partnerships and equity opportunities via Flight Fund, the $100M fund powered by Bartlett and some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Alongside Bartlett, Flight Studio will be led and co-founded by Georgie Holt, Acast’s former regional managing director for the Americas, and former US head of sales and brand partnerships, Christiana Brenton. Georgie and Christiana will be combining their years of global podcast and media expertise with the existing DOAC team to accelerate the company’s ambitions.

Flight Studio will have global production studios based in London, Manchester, New York, Boston and Los Angeles and will announce more details on these outstanding new show launches and more talent joining in the coming months.

Bartlett, co-founder and chairman of Flight Studio, said: “I truly believe that we have every core component ready to redefine the global podcasting industry with this new company. We have done this in our own tiny way already with The Diary of a CEO, but I’m haunted by the potential that we see to scale this globally, for the people and the voices who will change the world.”

Georgie Holt, co-founder and chief executive officer of Flight Studio, added: “Our ambition is to create the most valuable podcast brands and technology in the world at Flight Studio, we see that ‘value’ as being measured by the opportunity to be able to scale shows that make a positive impact in people’s lives on a global scale as fast as possible. To be able to do this with Steven, Christiana, our Flight Studio talent and the DOAC team is incredible. I believe we are about to collectively achieve something very special.”

Christiana Brenton, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Flight Studio, said: “Audience behaviours are rapidly evolving and we uniquely understand the evolution from niche audio formats to multi-player media experiences. The launch of Flight Studio comes with the most compelling commercial proposition in the entire global podcast industry – from video, audio, social and live events to speaking engagements, product, publishing, IP expansion and equity partnerships via FlightFund.

“There is no other podcast company in the world that offers this media ecosystem for creators and brands. I am beyond excited to be on this journey with Steven, Georgie, our new roster of phenomenal podcasters and the most talented team I’ve had the privilege to become a part of.”

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