Lionsgate, the studio behind “John Wick,” “The Hunger Games” and Starz, has entered the podcasting space. The company launched a new division called Lionsgate Sound, which will operate as a full-service podcast production company, handling titles for the studio’s film and television business while also overseeing projects for third-party clients.
Lionsgate Sound will launch with four shows, including a podcast from rapper 50 Cent. It has more than a dozen additional projects in the pipeline.
The current slate includes “Cuate/twin: The Downfall of El Chapo (working title),” hosted and produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his newly established G-Unit Audio; an interview podcast “Playing Dead”; the FBI-focused show “A Nation for Thieves”; and “Died and Survived,” which details near-death experiences. Lionsgate Sound is also producing true-crime thriller “The Lives and Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman” for exclusive distribution by CBC. The podcast from 50 Cent will be exclusively distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network, while the other listed shows will be widely available wherever podcasts are found.
“We look forward to entering the rapidly expanding podcast market as a great source of exciting new properties as well as an opportunity to feed the growing demand for audio content with our films, television series, Starz original programming, and library titles. This initiative demonstrates Lionsgate’s 360-degree approach to content, creating an opportunity for us to continue onscreen stories and make companion podcasts to serve fans of our IP while scaling the audience base for new projects,” said Joe Drake, chair of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, and Kevin Beggs, chair of the Lionsgate Television Group.
Lionsgate company Pilgrim Media Group, led by producer Craig Piligian, is a minority owner in Lionsgate Sound and will handle the day-to-day operations of the group, which will be overseen by Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio. International broadcast-journalist and producer Charlie Webster will head up creative for the division.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson and the other talented creators behind our upcoming shows,” said Piligian. “With our strong lineup out of the gate, we are well-positioned to reach the next generation of consumers.”
Lionsgate Sound will be governed by a board of directors comprised of Scott Herbst, executive VP and head of scripted development at Lionsgate Television; Suzy Felfeli, executive director of corporate development; Lionsgate MPG development executive Scott O’Brien; and Pilgrim Media’s Piligian and Stockdale. Lionsgate executive VP and head of global products and experiences Jenefer Brown has also been involved with the initiative as a key facilitator across multiple content groups of cross-company IP.