Himalaya is one of the podcast startups that caught eyes and ears with its $100 million in backing, and the company is already putting efforts into original show creation. The business spun out an entity called HiStudios, which will focus on programming hosted by social media influencers and sports personalities. HiStudios has already landed deals with boxer Mike Tyson and former NBA player Penny Hardaway.
The company will provide full-service support or simply sell ads depending on the deal. It is also open to video angles, such as deals with YouTubers who post both audio and video versions of their podcasts. HiStudios podcasts will be distributed to all listening apps, but the creators will receive financial incentives for building their audiences on the Himalaya app.
The standalone studio will also take advantage of Himalaya’s backing from China-based Ximalaya. HiStudios’ creators will have access to the new potential base in China, while Ximalaya gets content creation with an English-speaking audience in mind. Interest in appealing to English and Chinese audience is part of why HiStudios has focused on basketball programming.
“There’s a huge benefit for us to developing content, and then working out partnerships with our Chinese counterparts and figuring out what the best global opportunity is of each of these shows,” HiStudios CEO Peter Vincer said.