Crowd Network Bolsters Senior Leadership Team With New Commercial Director

Crowd Network (Crowd), the UK’s fastest-growing audio-on-demand network, has welcomed Katherine Hutcheson as commercial director. The appointment comes as Crowd looks to develop its commercialization strategy, targeting significant revenue growth across new and existing shows.

Launched in September 2022, Crowd its home to original shows across Crowd People and Crowd Stories divisions, with a new sports division in the pipeline. Working with major names in British entertainment, its chart-topping podcasts include The Sam and Billie Show, The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club and The Secret History Of: Flight 149.

With over 20 years’ experience in audio, Katherine has held commercial content director positions for Bauer’s National Brands, Katherine was also responsible for the commercial development and strategy for JACK Radio Group. More recently, Hutcheson was at Acast responsible for driving revenue and nurturing relationships with senior media agency stakeholders.

As Crowd’s roster of award-winning shows continues to grow, Katherine will work closely with senior leadership to target growth in new and exciting revenue streams. In April, Crowd’s first ever live show, The Joe Marler Show at The Clapham Grand, London, sold-out in just 10 hours. Hutcheson will be maximizing Crowd’s revenue streams across additional live tours, as well as sponsorship, advertising, merchandise, subscriptions, and other commercialization options.

With experience in building partnerships with leading media agencies, Katherine will also manage Crowd’s existing roster of commercial partners and target new strategic brand partnerships.

Crowd has undergone significant team growth since its launch. Starting as a team of four, the company is now 18-strong and Hutcheson’s appointment marks the latest in a string of senior hires. Former BBC creative lead Rob Roberts-Facey joined as Head of Sport in July, to lead the development of the new Crowd Sports content division.

Mike Carr, CEO of Crowd Network, said: “The podcast industry is growing and evolving quickly, and tapping into valuable revenue streams is crucial to remaining competitive. With Katherine on board, we are in a strong position to take advantage of new commercial opportunities, developing a strategy that aligns well with our brilliant slate of shows. It’s fantastic to have her as part of the team, and with her considerable experience in revenue delivery in the audio space, we are confident Katherine will help Crowd reach its next level of growth in the coming months,”

Katherine Hutcheson, commercial director at Crowd Network, said: “I’m thrilled to join Crowd Network. There is still so much untapped opportunity for growth in podcasting and audio, especially in companies like Crowd, where there is a real focus on quality shows that listeners truly connect with. There is already a strong commercial foundation within the business, with a number of its shows enjoying live shows or impressive demand for merch. I’m excited to be working closely with the team to push this further, and unlock growth for new upcoming shows too. There is so much potential at Crowd, and I can’t wait to explore it.”

Crowd Network Bolsters Senior Team

Crowd Network (Crowd), a fast-growing Manchester audio-on-demand network, has welcomed Rob Roberts-Facey to its team as a senior producer, joining the BBC. Roberts-Facey will work closely alongside Tom Fordyce, Crowd creative director, to develop at the network, Crowd Sports.

Having previously worked as creative lead for BBC Sport, Robert-Facey also worked across Match of the Day, Sports Personality of the Year and sports documentaries for BBC One. With over 11 years’ experience at the broadcaster, he has been involved in coverage of the biggest sporting moments of the last decade, from World Cups to the Olympics.

Currently home to chart-topping podcasts The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club and The Joe Marler Show, Crowd planes to officially launch the new sports division next year. Roberts-Facey and Fordyce will lead on the expansion of the network’s existing sport shows and development of new podcasts, with more high-profile sports stars set to join in 2022.

Crowd Sports will join the network’s existing content divisions. Crowd Stories, including the likes of critically acclaimed Murder In House Two and American Vigilante, brings trailblazing investigations and documentaries to life. Crowd People, home to podcasts including The Sam and Billie Show and Go Love Yourself, sees listeners get closer to some of the most popular names in entertainment.

Roberts-Facey’s appointment bolsters Crowd’s senior leadership team, which has undergone significant growth since its 2020 launch. Having started as a team of four, the network now counts 18 amongst the business and is set to welcome further new hires later in the summer.

Mike Carr, CEO of Crowd Network, said: “It’s fantastic to have Rob on board, given his experience in leading productions for some of the biggest global sporting events and shows. It stands him in good stead as we look to grow our sports podcast offering, work with more brilliant names and brands in spot, and continue to develop original shows that listeners truly connect with.

“As we expand the shows, talent and brands that we work with, we’re focused on having the right people in the team to support this, who have the drive and energy to push us forward. Rob in particular will be vital to developing our sports specialism, alongside Tom, as we look to officially launch Crowd Sports next year. I’m excited to welcome him into the team.”

Rob Roberts-Facey, Senior Producer at Crowd Network, said: “Having watched Crowd go from strength to strength over the last two years, I am thrilled to be part of the team. Its productions are quality, and the focus on connecting listeners with the shows, hosts, and people behind the podcasts is something I’ve always admired. To be able to play a part in this and work closely alongside Tom and the team again, is brilliant. We have so much scope to grow – from the names we work with, to the podcasts we bring to listeners – and I am incredibly excited to help take Crowd Sports to the next level.”

Crowd Network Tips 10 Million Downloads

Crowd Network, a rapidly growing Manchester-based audio on demand network, is celebrating 10 million podcast downloads in just over 18 months of launch.

Having launched a slate of new shows in recent months, including Go Love Yourself co-hosted by Laura Adlington and Lauren Smith, and The Sam & Billie Show from Sam and Billie Faiers, the independent network has seen downloads reach one million a month in the last five months.

Since its launch in September 2020, Crowd has created a suite of chart-topping shows to critical acclaim. Recent popular shows include Flight 149, a documentary series delving into the 1990 human hostage crisis and cover-up by the British Government, released in February this year. The company is in talks for a French series, speaking with French nationals involved in the scandal, to be released later this year.

As its library of shows grows, the network has welcomed six new faces in the last twelve months, with plans to grow the team by five over the next six months as show production ramps up.

Working with major names including Joe Marler, The Joe Marler Show, Geraint Thomas, The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club, and Alan Cumming, Alan Cumming’s Shelves as part of its Crowd People division, the network’s Crowd Stories arm features award winning shows, such as Murder in House Two, and the chart-topping American Vigilante. Six new podcasts are in the pipeline for 2022 across its Crowd People and Crowd Stories divisions.

The success of these shows saw the network partner with LA-based Creative Artists Agency in 2021 to explore film and television options for existing shows.

Co-founded by a team formerly based at the BBC, Crowd is led by CEO Mike Carr. Carr commented on the milestone: “When the team and I first talked about launching our own network, we wanted to create a company that ultimately gave our people complete creative control over their content. We didn’t want to just produce audio with other media companies, and we didn’t want to create podcasts that we thought people wouldn’t truly connect with.

“To have 10 million downloads, multiple awards, and some of the biggest names in entertainment, like Joe Male an Geraint Thomas, behind us less than two years in, is true testament to the Crowd team’s hard work over the last 18 months. I’m thrilled to be on this journey with some of the best in the industry, working one some of the most popular podcasts out there. As an independent network, we’re aware that there are other, perhaps easier, routes to growth. Yet these options wouldn’t be in line with our core offering of creating and owning our own quality IP, a strategy that is clearly resonating with listeners, talent and the market. We’re growing quickly, organically, in a way that stays true to our original focus: quality shows that bring people together.”