Panoply Media has informed RAIN News that it has completed a partnership with Gen-Z Media to develop and produce podcasts for young listeners. The deal includes a second season of the popular kid-centered audio drama The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.
Gen-Z was founded by three of the creators of Mars Patel. The Panoply alliance provides production support, financing, and distribution. Both the complete first season, and the upcoming second season, will live on Megaphone, Panoply’s hosting content management, and monetization platform.
In a phone call with RAIN News, Panoply Chief Content Officer Andy Bowers said the second season would launch in the next few months.
Podcasting has not focused on young listeners to a notable extent, and this dedicated effort to build out a kid-targeted network is intended as a remedy. Andy Bowers started his own kid podcast many years ago with his daughter (Molly and the Sugar Monster), and was naturally attracted to the Gen-Z venture when he first heard the Mars Patel program.
“I immediately noticed it and started listening, got in touch, saw what else was on the drawing board, and jumped at the opportunity to go into business with Gen-Z. It fit nicely with our thoughts,” Bowers told us. He also noted that on-demand audio is wonderful for children in a general way, as it sparks their imaginations, keeps them away from screens, and gives them programming that parents enjoy sharing.
No audience metrics for The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel are being disclosed in this announcement, but it was chosen as one of The Guardian’s top podcasts of 2016. The show is a scripted drama featuring a cast of children, and follow a group of students at the fictional H.G. Wells Middle School who investigate why their friends keep disappearing.
“We are thrilled to be working with Panoply,” said Ben Strouse, Gen-Z’s CEO. “Panoply understands the importance of kid’s programming to the future of podcasting, and their support gives us the freedom to focus on producing great audio content for tweens and young adults.”
This is Panoply’s second announcement in a week. Last Thursday the podcast network announced partnerships with WBUR and BuzzFeed, and also released a technical product called Megalink which gives its clients a user-friendly way to garner subscribers and subscriber intelligence.