Audio startup Podium has tapped digital media veteran Margaret Laney Silver to run strategic marketing as it seeks to grow its brand beyond its audiobook roots.
Silver joins Podium from Gunpowder & Sky, the AT&T-backed entertainment studio co-founded by Van Toffler, where she was co-head of marketing and insights. The company had recently expanded into audio with narrative sci-fi podcast Dust, which Silver produced. Silver also previously ran marketing at AwesomenessTV.
“Maggie is a highly accomplished entertainment executive with extensive marketing, distribution and production experience,” said Podium CEO Scott Dickey in a statement. “As Podium evolves from an indie publisher into an audio-first studio, we are extremely fortunate to bring someone with her unique background in entertainment marketing, product and content to this team.”
Added Silver, “Simply put, Podium’s team is extraordinary. I couldn’t be more excited to join a company so well-positioned to benefit from the current trends in the audiobook, podcasting and audio-innovation spaces.”
The Los Angeles-based company, which recently changed its name from Podium Publishing to Podium Audio, has a catalog of more than 1,300 sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks. It will now finance, develop, produce and distribute immersive audio experiences in the sci-fi, fantasy, game lit, mystery, thriller, young adult, romance and nonfiction genres.
Podium, which produced the audiobook for Andy Weir’s The Martian, has signed deals with several authors including Craig Alanson (Expeditionary Force), Richard Fox (Ember War) and Harmon Cooper (Death’s Mantle).
In other podcasting news:
– Former HBO boss Richard Plepler has joined the board of Luminary, the subscription podcast service. His appointment comes three months after another HBO veteran, former revenue chief Simon Sutton, became Luminary’s CEO, replacing co-founder Matt Sacks in the role. Luminary has raised around $130 million to build a subscription service for the primarily ad-supported podcast industry. The company offers exclusive shows from Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah and others for $5 per month (or $35 per year). Plepler, who left HBO in February 2019, recently launched production company Eden Productions, which has a five-year deal to create programming exclusively for Apple TV+. “I’ve seen firsthand Richard’s invaluable impact on a premium content business, and we welcome his strategic partnership as we endeavor to support creators, curate content for listeners and drive Luminary’s business forward,” Sutton said in a statement.
– IHeartMedia has signed a multiyear deal with Ozy Media to co-produce new original shows for its podcast network. Three new shows are set to launch in 2020, including travel and culture podcast Around the World. A scripted podcast and a spinoff of Ozy’s The Thread are also expected.
– The Onion has released its Iowa caucus-focused first episode of The Daily spoof The Topical; Wondery has debuted the first two episodes of its WeWork series WeCrashed; Gimlet has announced that the second season of Conviction: American Panic about the Satanic Panic of the 1980s will debut Feb. 25.