In February earlier this year, I was invited onto The Podcast Radio Hour, a BBC Radio 4 Extra show that recommends podcasts to the masses. My pick that day was Swipe Left Swipe Left – in my opinion, a truly innovative show, fantastically produced by people who understood why people love listening to podcasts. The fact that the show is now part of our (*ahem*) stable is something of a dream for Becky and myself. As a company, it represents the level of production we aim to achieve, the stories we want to tell and the scale of our ambition.
In essence, Swipe Left Swipe Left tells stories about dating in the modern world. Series 1 portrayed tales of unexpected relationship adventures and dating failures. In Series 2 – produced under our guidance – we’re looking to expand this core concept and to tell stories with higher levels of diversity and to a larger, global audience. The strength of SLSL is that it speaks directly to the listener and does so in the first-person. There’s an intense level of intimacy and with that, there’s so much potential to grow both the show and the audience. We’re super excited!
The producers, rather aptly, are a couple called Claire Crofton – who is a prominent, award-winning audio producer – and her partner Gavin Wong. They decided to start producing the show independently because they were having way too much fun hearing stories about their single friends’ dating exploits. For me, they are central to its success. They care about the stories and, more to the point, they care that the listener cares. This is what appealed about having SLSL part of our network in the first place. And it’s not just about the production values (which are world-class by the way); it’s also about how the stories are presented.
In Series 1, Episode 4: Happy Endings (top reviews from The Guardian), the duo takes a step back and they let the storyteller take the limelight. They understand why the listener listens. The most important element is that the story sits at the centre of each and every episode and that’s the very same ethos that we share with Claire and Gavin.
Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to raise a round of seed investment to enable us to start producing our own original podcasts. The acquisition of such a fantastic programme like Swipe Left Swipe Left lays down our intentions to build one the best podcast networks in the world and our intention for 2020 is to do just that.