Steven Bartlett and ex-Acast duo launch global podcast startup

Steven Bartlett and ex-Acast duo launch global podcast startup
(From left) Brenton, Bartlett and Holt are co-founders of Flight Studio

The Diary of A CEO host and entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, along with former global Acast executives Georgie Holt and Christiana Brenton, have launched a global podcast media and technology company.

Flight Studio will work across podcast development, creation, growth and monetisation, with Bartlett as founder and chairman, Holt as CEO and Brenton as chief commercial officer.

Bartlett 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.”

Flight Studio is based on learnings from The Diary of a CEO‘s growth over the last three years. The podcast now attracts more than 2m listeners per episode, hit number one on Apple Podcasts last year and was the second biggest podcast on YouTube.

The Diary of a CEO will sign exclusively to Flight Studio. Alongside this, the first podcasters to join the company are Davina McCall, Paul C Brunson, Dr Tara Swart, Africa Brooke and Kristen Holmes.

(From left) Bartlett, McCall, Swart, Brooke and Brunson (Credit: Tom Harrison)


Flight Studio plans to launch video-first podcasts using “proprietary data and experimentation methodology”, as well as leverage AI technology in every aspect of the podcast process, in particular audio translation in multiple languages.

The business will also comprise product, ecommerce, live events, publishing and rights teams, with a commercial offering including multi-platform brand partnerships and equity opportunities available through the $100m Flight Fund, provided by Bartlett and other entrepreneurs.

There will be global production studios based in London, Manchester, New York, Boston and Los Angeles, with new show and talent announcements to come in the next few months.

Holt said: “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 Diary of a CEO team is incredible. I believe we are about to collectively achieve something very special.”

Last year, Holt and Brenton left their respective roles as regional managing director for the Americas and US head of sales and brand partnerships at Acast to start a specialist podcast media agency and consultancy in the UK. Telling Media focused on the potential of performance advertising in podcasting.

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