QCODE, in LA, is a leading destination for fiction and immersive storytelling in the podcast space. It’s released eight scripted podcasts at No.1 in the fiction category and top 10 overall on the Apple Podcast Chart and said additional investment will help it scale up to more than 15 originals a year across genres and in partnership with talent, production and media companies.
Former CAA agent Rob Herting launched the podcaster in 2019 with production company Automatik and management firm Grandview. “We started QCODE … to give more autonomy to creators and artists in building new and original stories,” he said.
Partner Sonos, of Santa Barbara, is an innovator in wireless home audio. “From the beginning, we’ve been committed to delivering a great listening experience, which makes Sonos a perfect fit with QCODE. We cannot wait to build our next round of innovative, immersive audio-story experiences,” Herting added.
QCODE invests creative partners in the underlying intellectual property and engages with them on adaptation into other mediums. Writers and creators are attached to film and TV adaptations and lead voice talent have a producer credit in the podcast and resulting adaptations. Shows recently picked up include erotic scripted drama Dirty Diana from Shana Feste starring Demi Moore and The Left Right Game from Jack Anderson, produced by and starring Tessa Thompson. Both were acquired by Amazon for TV adaptations.
QCODE’s first and second shows Blackout with Rami Malek and Carrier with Cynthia Erivo have won Best Fiction category for Apple Podcasts and iHeartradio and Webby awards. Carrier is due to be adapted into a feature film by Amblin Entertainment.
Other projects include thriller series Borrasca, produced by and starring Cole Sprouse (Riverdale, Five Feet Apart) and Hank The Cowdog, based on the children’s books, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey.
QCODE has also premiered The Edge of Sleep with YouTube creator Mark Fischbach (“Markiplier”) under its new Wood Elf label, which matches digital creators with original narrative genre podcasts.
Ryan Taylor, general manager of Sonos Radio, will join QCODE’s board.
“As a long-time partner of QCODE, our alignment began with a belief that great sound is one of the linchpins of creating great content and capturing listener attention,” he said. “We look forward to supporting and learning with QCODE as they further their mission to deliver immersive storytelling in the podcast space.”
C Ventures, founded by investors Adrian Cheng and Clive Ng, is a venture capital company targeting millennials and the new Gen Z with lifestyle and tech businesses. “We believe that storytelling enriches our imagination, creates unique experiences and unifies our culture which QCODE has mastered and we look forward to joining them on this journey,” said Cheng.