Industry Veteran Ruth Fitzsimons Hired as Managing Director to Lead London-Based International Expansion
Podcast leaders Stitcher and Wondery are joining forces to provide advertisers and brands in the United Kingdom with the ability to buy premium advertising inventory locally and globally into a top-tier roster of podcast shows.
The joint venture, Podfront UK, represents the first time advertisers in the U.K. have the opportunity to directly access a large catalog of household-name podcasts from Wondery and Stitcher.
Podfront UK will open a new path for podcasters to monetize their shows within the U.K. marketplace and will source high-quality podcasts and talent out of the U.K. for a growing international audience. This level of investment marks a pivotal growth moment in podcasts, bridging global content with global brands.
“Stitcher has been at the forefront of podcast creation and monetization for over a decade in the U.S., and we have the breadth and depth of listener-provided data and resources to help brands and advertisers in the U.K. tap into this growing audience,” said Erik Diehn, CEO of Stitcher. “By partnering with Wondery in this endeavor, we bring together our networks and combined expertise to continue this momentum within the European market.”
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According to Stitcher’s sales organization, Midroll, the U.K. ranks third in listening across the company’s network of more than 250 podcasts, with listeners tuning in to shows like “Freakonomics,” “WTF with Marc Maron” and “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.” Blockbuster hits from Wondery including “Dirty John” and “Dr. Death” are also making waves overseas, with millions of listeners tuning in from the U.K.
“Our shows are resonating with audiences in the U.K., with two of them reaching No.1 on Apple Podcasts so far in 2019,” said Hernan Lopez, founder and CEO of Wondery. “Now we’ll be in a position to directly engage with brand advertisers in the U.K.”
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Podfront will be led by podcast veteran Ruth Fitzsimons, who comes to Podfront UK from London-based Audioboom, where she was senior vice president of international operations and content partnerships, overseeing the growth of Audioboom’s U.K., Indian and Australian operations. In her new role as managing director of Podfront, Fitzsimons will build a sales, content and marketing team tasked with growing the Stitcher and Wondery networks by monetizing existing listening in the U.K., bringing U.K.-based brands to the U.S. market and expanding to European countries where there is demand.
“Podfront UK represents an exciting new chapter for podcasting,” said Ruth Fitzsimons, managing director of Podfront UK. “It is a testament to the rapid growth of the medium that two of the world’s biggest podcast companies, Stitcher and Wondery, have come together to grow their respective revenue internationally and create a high-quality podcast network outside of the U.S. I’m thrilled to be a part of such an innovative team and look forward to working with the robust podcasting talent pool here in the U.K to continue growing this network.”
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