Podcasting division launched to capitalise on surge in medium’s popularity

Nicholas Beddows, left and Fraser Cottrell

A social media video production agency is launching a podcasting arm as the online broadcasting medium surges in popularity.

Fraggell Productions, based in Tameside, Greater Manchester, has developed its new division to create original, branded podcasts for its clients, alongside strategic plans to grow the business.

The primary focus will centre around high-quality live video delivery, alongside audio, across all hosting and social media platforms.

This comes in the wake of broadcasting watchdog Ofcom’s announcement that the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled to nearly six million over the past five years.

This was from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018.

The increase runs across all age groups, but the steepest growth is among young adults – aged 15 to 24 – with around one in five (18.7%) listening to podcasts every week.

Fraser Cottrell, 24, creative director for Fraggell Productions, said: “We simply couldn’t afford to ignore these statistics, which prove that podcasts are soaring in popularity.

“As a young and vibrant social media video agency we didn’t want to miss out on putting our creative spin on such an evidently progressive entertainment medium.

“We feel that although a lot of people are creating podcasts, not that many are doing it well.

“We also believe that the podcasting industry needs something new and we want to help our clients make better, original content for their customers.

“That’s why we’re putting video at the forefront of all of our clients podcast endeavours. We will introduce podcasts which are broadcast live with crossover on social, as well as each podcast having its own YouTube channel to gain more organic viewership.”

He added: “This is because we recognise that the ways in which people digest and respond to information are constantly evolving.

“Well-crafted podcasts which contain valuable, audience-targeted content are essential for tapping into a new way of conveying information and core brand messages.

“We’re confident that the new arm of our business will go above and beyond to achieve this, as well as supporting our overarching expansion strategy.”

Fraggell Productions counts PrettyLittleThing, BoohooMan, Lavish Alice, LADBible and Papa Johns among its roster of clients, a number of whose core customer base falls into the 15 to 24 podcast listening demographic.

As part of its commitment to think differently, Fraggell Productions says it was the first business of its kind to create interactive GIFs specifically for Instagram Stories, which attracted a staggering 35 million views globally for several Greater Manchester and UK businesses.

Fraser added: “No matter what project we take on we place full emphasis on weaving stylish visuals with personalised narratives, tailoring the results to fully capitalise on the social media offering.

“We’re delighted to be able to carve a niche in the industry in this way, all while supporting and raising the profile of brands across Greater Manchester, the UK and globally.”

Generating a turnover of £100,000 in 2018, alongside a £30,000 pre-tax profit and growing to three full-time employees, Fragell Productions aims to turn over £1m in the next five years, while adding 30 staff members.

The firm was founded by Fraser and technical director Nicholas Beddows, 24, when the pair finished Ashton Sixth Form College aged 18.