Listen announces a host of senior hires who will drive the agency into an ambitious new era of original podcasts. The agency has appointed Darby Dorras as Director of Content. It also welcomes Amber Bateman, Creative Lead from Mags Creative, as an Executive Producer and Josh Adley as Managing Director, previously Director of Commercial and Client Relations.
Since its launch in 2019, Listen has become the UK’s leading independent podcast production agency, setting the gold standard in branded content and commissioned work for global startup platforms. Listen are the current APAs Production Company of the Year and recently won Best Startup Agency at the 2022 ALF awards.
The team has created award-winning global podcasts for clients including BBC Sounds’ 28ish Days Later and That Gemma Collins Podcast, Audible’s Titting About with French and Saunders, Michael Caine: Heroes and Sky Bingo’s Ry-Union, plus award-winning content for Spotify, Amazon Music, BMW, Vodafone, MTV and Comedy Central.
Building on the agency’s success, Listen will now deliver its first ever podcast originals slate, brought to life by the newly appointed Director of Content. In his role, Dorras will bring creative leadership to the agency and drive bold, innovative originals, while continuing to grow its award-winning work for brands.
Dorris’s joins after a decade at Somethin’ Else, part of Sony Music Entertainment, as an industry-leading Executive Producer. He’s created podcasts for clients from the BBC to Bloomberg to Vanity Fair, been instrumental in the growth of Somethin’ Else’s branded podcast work, and delivered a creative vision that’s helped shape a globally successful originals slate.
Dorras’ years of experience also span across radio: exec’ing weekly strands and dramas for Radio 4, docs for Radio 2 and 4, series for the Audio Content Fund and he was the creative force behind the pan-industry radio spot, The Mental Health Minute. Previously Dorras had an insatiable appetite for food content, leading both BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and Somethin’ Else podcast Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner to become two of the UKs top food audio shows, winning multiple Guild of Food Writers and Fortnum and Mason Food Awards.
Dorras is a multiple BPA, ARIA and NYF Radio Awards nominee and winner, as well as being a ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 Alumnus and winner of the prestigious ‘The Gold Award” at the APAs. As someone with a physical disability, he is a passionate advocate for creating a more accessible, diverse audio industry and is the Founder of Disabled People in Audio.
Amber Bateman joins as an Executive Producer with significant experience as Creative Lead at Mags Creative, working with commissioners and global brand clients including Google, Meta, Spotify and Puffin. She has a track record for developing successful wider podcasting brands that have topped charts and won awards. She is excited by the potential that ‘vodcasts’ bring to the traditionally audio-only landscape and is passionate about employing a 360-brand approach to podcasts: connecting crucial moments and conversations as part of a multi-channel strategy. In 2021, she was one of the Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30.
Josh Adley, Listen’s MD, said: “From our first conversation that Darby was the right person to drive us forward creatively as we develop and launch our first slate of original shows. His wealth of experience across genres speaks for itself and his creative energy is a force to be reckoned with. I’m equally delighted that Amber was inspired by our vision to join the team, adding to our existing heavyweight exec producers Suzy Grant, Nick Minter and Paul Thomas. As we move forward, expect more premium shows bolstered by a fresh slate of original podcasts. We are only just getting started.”
Darby Dorras, Listen’s Director of Content added: “I’m hugely excited to be joining Listen. In just three years, they’ve built an industry-leading team who are delivering a diverse range of standout audio content. I can’t wait to bring my experience and creative leadership to the company as we enter this next phase at a crucial moment in podcasting. Expect big, bold, innovative, and provocative ideas that will underpin our new originals slate, and continue to feed and grow our work-for-hire.