How Podcast Companies Wondery, Gimlet Are Going Global

Yes, finding the right translators can be a key to success in overseas markets

The podcast companies behind some of the biggest chart-topping hits of the last three years are ready for their next challenge: taking a story listeners know and love like “Dr. Death” and giving it an international makeover.

But what does that look like?

Unlike the Hollywood blockbuster, podcasts don’t have the luxury of dubbing or subtitles to grow the reach of a show like Wondery’s “Dirty John,” the six-part series about a serial imposter that was later adapted into a hit show on Bravo. The podcast production firm’s executives plan to address that issue by taking their hit podcasts and translating them into local languages and dialects, such as Castilian and Latin-American Spanish. The company has recruited independent creators in seven yet-to-be-announced international markets.

Spotify, one of Wondery’s biggest competitors after acquiring Gimlet Media and Parcast earlier this year, also is prioritizing global expansion.

The goal: Grow the love of podcasts outside of the U.S.

In June, Wondery, the home of chart-topping series like 2018’s “Dr. Death,” announced former CEO of National Geographic Partners Declan Moore as its head…

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