Former Canal+, Havas execs launch podcast studio Paradiso

Former Canal+ exec Lorenzo Benedetti and ex-Havas exec Benoit Bunaigre have launched an international podcast production studio.

The studio is to create and produce premium scripted, documentary and kids content for international platforms such as Spotify, Audible and Sybel. Formats will be produced in languages including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.

The business has unveiled a pair of projects, including The Killer With A Pockmarked Face (8 x 25 minutes, co-produced with Sybel, Louie Media, Les Jours and Le Seuil for Sybel), which tells the true story of the hunt for a French serial killer wanted for more than 33 years.

A second project is short comedy interview format The Promo Hotline (30 x 4 minutes) for Spotify.

Paradiso is also in production on two scripted series.

The business has debuted on the back of a successful seed fundraising round that will see the business build out creative and production teams in Paris, London and Los Angeles. Plans are in place for an international network of 35 staff across three cities producing at least 12 series a year by the end of 2020.

Initial investment backing came from such execs as Rodolphe Belmer (Eutelsat, Netflix); the Mediawan Group chaired by Pierre-Antoine Capton; Grégory Dray (Google); Julien Leroux (Cineflix Media); and Iconoclast.

Paradiso’s exec committee includes Benedetti, who serves as CEO; Dunaigre, who is head of sound; and former Konbini exec Louis Daboussy, chief content officer.

Benedetti 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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