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French podcast studio launches

A podcast studio created by former executives from French pay TV operator Canal+, French entertainment company Konbini and ad agency Havas has launched under the name Paradiso.

The international podcast production studio will deliver content to a number of global platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Sybel, Audible and Deezer, and will produce formats in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.

Paradiso has been founded by Studio Bagel founder and Canal+ alumni Lorenzo Benedetti, former Konbini chief creative officer Louis Daboussy and former Havas exec Benoit Dunaigre.

The company already has two shows in production. Crime series The Killer With A Pockmarked Face (8×25’) tells the true story of the hunt for a French serial killer who has been wanted for more than 33 years, and is being produced by Louie Media, Les Jours Le Seuil for French outlet Sybel.

The shortform comedy interview format The Promo Hotline (30×4’) is also in the pipeline for Spotify, and is written and directed by Géraldine de Margerie.

The French company also has two scripted series in development, one from screenwriters Cyril Tysz and Guillaume Enard, and another from de Margerie. Over 15 additional podcast projects are in development.

Paradiso aims to produce at least 12 series a year by the end of 2020, with offices in Paris, London and Los Angeles. The company is also looking to establish a catalogue of formats that can be adapted into TV series or feature films.

The company secured funding from senior executives such as Netflix’s Rodolphe Belmer, Grégory Dray from Google, Julien Leroux of Cineflix Media, as well as Mediawan Group and Iconoclast.

Benedetti, CEO of Paradiso, said: “With this first seed round, we have the opportunity to start a leading player with a strong potential for growth acceleration. Our collaboration with podcast platforms is an excellent first step in Paradiso’s objective to launch a creative and dynamic narrative podcast studio producing premium content.

“We believe in the power of narrative podcast as a way to start franchises. Once developed in France and in audio, our stories can be adapted all over the world and for online platforms, SVoDs, television series and feature films. This first slate of projects will aim to aggregate a list of promising IP and provide strong value creation for the company.”

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