Crowd Network launches in Manchester with Acast tech/sales partnership

From the UK comes news of a new podcast network: Crowd Network, whose mandate is “gripping stories and unforgettable personalities.” The launch is funded by 500,000 GBP from Enigma Holdings.

Podcast tech and sales company Acast is partnered into the start.

The Crowd leadership team consists of CEO Mike Carr, former editor of BBC Radio Sport; content director Steve Jones, an award-winning BBC radio and podcast producer; creative director Tom Fordyce, the former chief sports writer for the BBC and one third of That Peter Crouch Podcast; and talent director Louise Gwilliam, former rugby union producer for BBC 5Live.

Seven titles are planned for release in 2020. No details yet.

Nothing modest about the group’s ambition: “Our vision is to be Europe‚Äôs largest audio-on-demand network,” said CEO Mike Carr in a statement. “The UK podcast market is playing catch-up with the US, but we have a plan to blaze a trail and close that gap. Podcasts are on the cusp of moving from a niche to a mass-market channel and we aim to be at the vanguard as that transition takes place.”

Developing podcast talent in Manchester is a launch focus — appreciated by the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, who contributed this statement: “Following the exponential success and growth of TV and film on demand services, such as Netflix, iPlayer and now BritBox and Disney+, audio-on-demand is an exciting and developing industry with huge potential.”

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Brad Hill